Finally, Justice!

This blog is from Paul Orr, Lower Mississippi Riverkeeper.

After decades of complaints and multiple convictions, waste water system manager is sentenced to jail time and $850,000.00 in fines.

Several communities in North Louisiana have been denied their basic right of access to clean water for decades. Residents have voiced complaints about murky and contaminated tap water, raw sewage being discharged into open residential street side ditches, and improper termination and refusal of water and sewage services.

For over ten years, LEAN President, Cheryl Slavant has been committed to assisting the communities facing these issues; gathering evidence and working with the Regulatory agencies responsible for enforcing the Federal Water Pollution Control Act.

On June 8, Chief Judge Robert G. James sentenced Mr. Jeffrey Pruett of West Monroe, LA to 21 months for each of his 7 felony convictions including failure to maintain and provide records and an effluent limitations violation. In addition, Pruett was sentenced to 12 months incarceration for a misdemeanor resulting from improper maintenance and operation of his facilities. The sentences are to be served concurrently and will be followed by one year supervised release. Mr. Pruett, and his two waste water  management companies: Louisiana Land & Water Company, and LWC Management Company Inc. were ordered to pay a total of $850,000.00 in fines. Mr. Pruett will begin serving his prison sentence on July, 18.

"This is justice for the people who have had to live under third world conditions for 30 years," says Cheryl Slavant, President of the Louisiana Environmental Action Network.

"All the citizens of the district have a right to have clean water. Without compliance with the law, everyone loses. This defendant and his companies blatantly disregarded the law, putting the health of the community at risk. We hope that this case sends a message to owners and operators that there are serious consequences when you violate the Clean Water Act." -United States Attorney Stephanie Finley

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