Virginia Man and Tank Cleaning Company Sentenced for Refuse and Clean Water Act Violations
On August 24, 2011, in the United States District Court, Norfolk, Virginia, Jerry Askew and Marine Environmental Services, Inc. (MESI) were sentenced in connection their guilty pleas to Refuse Act and Clean Water Act violations, respectively. Mr Askew was sentenced to 30 days incarceration, one year of supervised release, and a $15,000 fine. MESI was sentenced to five years probation, a $10,000 fine, and was ordered to contribute $60,000 to a community service project associated with the environmental maintenance of the Elizabeth River.
The Mr. Askew and MESI had previously admitted to the illegal discharge of approximately 500,000 gallons of contaminated ballast water into the Elizabeth River and the Hampton Roads Sanitation District sewer system, which are violations of the Clean Water Act and the Refuse Act. Jerry Askew is the general manager for MESI, a tank cleaning company located in Portsmouth, Virginia. MESI was the subcontractor hired by Bay Bridge Enterprises to remove fluids from the USS Pawcatuck as part of a ship scrapping contract with the U. S. Maritime Administration (MARAD). MARAD's contract required compliance with all Federal, state, and local environmental laws and regulations.
This investigation was conducted jointly with the Environmental Protection Agency-Criminal Investigations Division, Defense Criminal Investigative Service, Naval Criminal Investigative Service, and Coast Guard Investigative Service.