A Lafayette man was arrested for “knowingly” violating Department of Environmental Quality water quality laws and violating false public records.
Jordan Savoy, 32, owner of Elite Environmental, operates the Vermilion Village Trailer Park located at La. 92 and Bonin in Youngsville and Shiloh Place Trailer Park located at 1111 Roper Drive in Scott.
The results of LDEQ’s criminal investigation revealed that Savoy knowingly violated the water discharge permits for both of these facilities by altering samples to meet permit discharge limits.
“Plant operators need to be aware that trying to circumvent state regulations is a losing choice. We are going to catch you if you falsify reports,” said LDEQ Secretary Dr. Chuck Carr Brown. “When we do, the price you pay will be much larger price than it would have cost you to comply in the first place.”
Under Louisiana’s Water Control Law, an owner or operator of sewage treatment plant which discharges to state waters is required to obtain a Louisiana Water Discharge Elimination System permit from LDEQ.
Over the past few years, LDEQ Surveillance Division personnel became suspicious when they made multiple sampling inspections at the two sewage treatment plants run by Savoy and saw the poorly maintained conditions at each.
During these inspections, the sewage treatment plants were filled with solids and lacked means of disinfection. Samples collected by LDEQ revealed “permit exceedances for fecal coliform bacteria concentrations.”
Savoy would submit Discharge Monitoring Reports during the same months that LDEQ personnel sampled the facilities.
Savoy’s samples results showed that fecal coliform bacteria concentrations were well within permit limits even though the conditions at the plants made permit compliance virtually impossible.
When questioned by LDEQ Criminal Investigation Section personnel, Savoy admitted that he altered the fecal coliform samples so that the samples would meet permit limits.
Violations of Louisiana Pollutant Discharge Elimination System, upon conviction, can result in a fine of not less than $5,000, but no more than $50,000 per day of violation, or imprisonment for not more than three years, with or without hard labor, or both per count. Violations for filing false public records can result in a fine of not more than $5,000, or imprisonment for not more than five years, with or without hard labor, or both per count.