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United States v. Wolf

United States District Court, N.D. Iowa, Western Division

February 25, 2015

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
MICHAEL J. WOLF, Defendant.

ORDER ACCEPTING REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION CONCERNING GUILTY PLEA

DONALD E. O'BRIEN, Senior District Judge.

I. INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND

Before the Court is Magistrate Judge Leonard T. Strand's Report and Recommendation Concerning Guilty Plea (Docket No. 8).

On December 9, 2014, a one count Information (Docket No. 1) was filed in the above-referenced case. On December 16, 2014, Defendant Michael J. Wolf entered a guilty plea to Count 1 of the Information before United States Magistrate Judge Leonard T. Strand.

The information sets out:

The United States Attorney charges:
INTRODUCTION
1. Defendant Michael J. Wolf is an individual residing in Remsen, Iowa. Defendant was employed by Sioux-Preme Packing Corporation ("Sioux Preme") where he worked as a manager and supervisor in the maintenance department. Sioux-Preme is a pork processing facility doing business in Sioux Center, Iowa, and has a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permit Number 8400100, which allows it to discharge pollutants as long as specific effluent parameters are met.
2. Defendant supervised as many as fifteen employees at Sioux-Preme including mechanics, electricians, and other maintenance personnel. Defendant had worked at Sioux-Preme since December of 1991. In order to meet its production requirements, Defendant's employer regularly discharged or land-applied the wastewater it used during pork processing.
3. Defendant was responsible for ensuring Sioux-Preme's wastewater treatment lagoons were sufficiently low to allow for scheduled contract renovation work. This work was needed in order to increase the storage capacity for the wastewater treatment lagoons. Defendant believed it critical that the contractors complete the lagoons and subsequently took the unlawful actions to reduce the wastewater levels in the lagoons.
THE CLEAN WATER ACT
4. The Federal Water Pollution Control Act, Title 33, United States Code, Section 1251, et seq., more commonly known as the Clean Water Act ("CWA"), was enacted by Congress to restore and maintain the chemical, physical, and biological quality of the Nation's waters. 33 U.S.C. § 1251(a). In addition, the CWA was enacted to prevent, reduce, and eliminate water pollution in the United States and to conserve the waters of the United States for the protection and propagation of fish and aquatic life and wildlife, recreational purposes, and the use of such waters for public drinking water, agricultural, and industrial use. 33 U.S.C. § 1252(a).
5. Section 301(a) of the CWA, 33 U.S.C. § 1311(a), prohibits the discharge of pollutants except in compliance with, inter alia, the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit issued pursuant to Section 402 fo the CWA, 33 U.S.C. § 1342.
6. Pursuant to Section 402 of the CWA, 33 U.S.C. § 1342, EPA authorizes states to issue NPDES permits that, among other things, prescribe conditions whereby a discharge may be authorized, and establish design, construction, ...

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