Kevin E. Transue And Daniel E. Rose Have Been Convicted

BINGHAMTON, NY (May 24, 2010) - Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that a former city water filtration plant superintendent as well as a plant employee were convicted of illegally dumping sludge into the Susquehanna River. The river is the primary drinking water supply for Binghamton, Johnson City, and other downstream communities.

Daniel E. Rose, 31, of Port Crane, a former filtration plant employee, was found guilty by Broome County Court Judge Joseph F. Cawley after a non-jury trial on one count of knowingly discharging pollutants into state waters (class E felony). Kevin E. Transue, 55, who currently resides in Florida and is the former filtration plant superintendent was found guilty of three counts of violating a New York State Department of Environmental Conservation permit that had been issued to the plant by failing to file a required annual report with the DEC (class A misdemeanor). Rose faces a prison term of up to 1 1/3-to-4 years and Transue faces up to two years in jail. Sentencing is scheduled for September 8th.

“The failure of these public employees to do their jobs properly resulted in a preventable, and ultimately criminal, discharge of sludge into the Susquehanna River,” said Attorney General Cuomo. “Environmental crimes impact all of us and my office will have zero tolerance for anyone who violates the laws that protect the land and water.”

Video shot by DEC investigators that was presented at trial clearly shows a sludge discharge directly into the Susquehanna River while Rose was on duty. The judge also found that Transue failed in his duties to monitor and report discharges. The discharge is contrary to the DEC permit that was first issued to the plant in March 2001. The permit only allows for the discharge of water into the river under specific limited circumstances.

As part of the purification process at the Binghamton water filtration plant, chemicals are introduced to water drawn from the river, which combine with sediments and other impurities, and then settle to the bottom of sedimentation basins. The remaining water is then further treated for public consumption. The separated chemicals and sediments, referred to as “sludge,” are then drained to the sewer system where the sludge is treated and legally disposed of.

The Susquehanna River is one of the longest rivers in the United States, and the longest on the Eastern Seaboard. It runs from Otsego County through Pennsylvania and parts of Maryland before emptying into the Chesapeake Bay.

The Attorney General thanked the DEC for its assistance in the investigation.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Nicholas DeMartino, of the Criminal Prosecutions Bureau, under the supervision of Deputy Bureau Chief Richard Ernst and Bureau Chief Gail Heatherly. The investigation of this matter was conducted by Department of Environmental Conservation Police Investigator James Boylan and DEC Lt. James Masuicca..

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