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Louisiana Coastal Restoration Worker Sentenced for Violating Clean Water Act

On September 8, 2022, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana sentenced James Tassin to 24 months of probation, a $2,500 fine, and a $25 special assessment for violating the Clean Water Act. In September 2016, Tassin negligently struck a pipeline near the Chenier Ronquille barrier island on the coast of Louisiana, causing a harmful quantity of oil to discharge into navigable water and adjoining shorelines. The discharge affected natural resources under the management authority of the U.S. Government. When the discharge took place, Tassin was working under the supervision of Great Lakes Dredge & Dock, LLC.
According to Tassin’s plea agreement and the factual basis that were presented to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, Tassin and Great Lakes Dredge & Dock were responsible for the negligent behavior that resulted in the oil discharge and violation of the Clean Water Act, as well as multiple violations of the Pipeline Safety Act, including the One Call Notification requirement.
DOT-OIG conducted this investigation with the Environmental Protection Agency Criminal Investigative Division and Department of Commerce OIG.