Trucking Company Owner Pleads Guilty To Polluting Sewer System

February 9, 2000

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The owner of a Pennsylvania trucking company pleaded guilty to dumping pollutants in the town's public sewer system for 12 years.

Robert J. Schippers, who pleaded not guilty in November, agreed to a plea bargain that calls for a sentence of one to three years in prison and an undetermined fine. If Schippers had been convicted at trial, he would have faced up to 228 years in prison and $11.5 million in fines, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.
The 46-count indictment issued in October accused Schippers, who owns Schippers Service trucking company in Easton, PA, and his head mechanic, Ronald Padula, of violating the Clean Water Act and U.S. DOT regulations.
The company allegedly transported kerosene, diesel fuel, gasoline, aviation fuel and fuel oil in leaking and uninspected cargo tanks, according to the indictment. They disposed of the leaking materials from a wash bay straight into the Easton public sewer system, which empties into the Delaware River.
Padula, who also pleaded not guilty in November, is scheduled to go on trial Monday. If convicted, he faces up to 105 years in prison and $5.75 million in fines.

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