Sewage Treatment Plant Operator Given Prison Time

Monday, February 6, 2012

A sewage treatment plant operator has been ordered to serve time in federal prison for not operating the facility at Niota, Tn., correctly and for lying to state inspectors about it.

Judge Sandy Mattice on Monday morning sentenced Donald Jack Clark to six months in prison and another six months of home confinement with an electronic monitoring device. He must also perform 150 hours of community service.

Prosecutor Matthew Morris had argued for a stiffer sentence, saying a message needed to be sent to other sewage plant operators not to endanger the public's health.

He said there was no evidence that anyone became ill due to the problems at the Niota plant, but he said the possibility was there.

Environmental inspector Angela Young of the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation said the effluent at the plant was not treated with chlorine for a two-year period. She said there was no evidence that the sewage sludge was being hauled away as it should have been.

She said the chrlorine is necessary to kill e coli and other harmful substances in the water.

Ms. Young said the plant is on the tiny stream of Little North Mouse Creek. She said there had been complaints that the creek had a dark color.

The witness said Clark had reached the level of a class III operator and the state relied on him being honest in his reports. She said another operator at the plant turned in reports saying the plant was not meeting standards.

Clark told the judge, "I made a terrible mistake."

He operated the Niota plant in McMinn County for 17 years.     

The recommended sentencing range was 12-18 months.

 


Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: ABBOTT, JEREMIAH JASON  HOMELESS ,  Age at Arrest: 35 years old Arresting Agency: Collegedale Booked for Previous Charges or Other Reason(s) --- ANDERSON, JACOB QUINTON  1101 NORMAN CHAPEL ROAD NW CLEVELAND, 37312  Age at Arrest: 21 years old Arresting Agency: Chattanooga DRIVING ... (click for more)

Firefighters Respond To 2 Fires On Mountain Creek Road

Saturday morning was busy for many Chattanooga firefighters. Shortly after 9 a.m., the Chattanooga Fire Department received the alarm for a house fire in the 3500 block of Mountain Creek Road. When the first firefighters arrived on the scene, Battalion Chief Chris Willmore said the attached garage to the house was engulfed in flames and was spreading rapidly to the house. As ... (click for more)

Slaxxon Regret - And Response

Back in the seventies my three oldest brothers had a buddy named Steve Slack. “Slack” was a star soccer player at Baylor and he grew up on Lookout Mountain, which is where I grew up. He and Jimmy, Henry and Bill went to the University of Virginia where they were roommates in an old, beat up house that was painted pink. Naturally, the place became known as the “Pink Palace” but lest ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: ‘Ballooniac’ Fined $25K

The Calgary Stampede is one of the biggest events in Canada and every year it draws well over 1.5 million people to one of the most beautiful places in the world. It started in 1912 as a big rodeo event and today it lasts 10 straight days. A highlight is the chuck-wagon races, where $4 million of advertisements are sold on the wagon’s canvas covers and there are pancake breakfasts ... (click for more)

Mocs Finish Third At Furman Intercollegiate

The Chattanooga Mocs men’s golf team finished tied for third at the Furman Intercollegiate. They did so behind senior Wes Gosselin’s runner-up performance.   Gosselin shot a career-best 10-under 206. It’s the eighth time a Moc has finished 10-under or better, the first since Stephan Jaeger’s school-record 203 (-13) winning the 2012 NCAA Bowling Green Regional   ... (click for more)

Columbia Academy Stymies Soddy-Daisy 4-2

Soddy-Daisy won two games in the Ooltewah Invitational on Friday and hoped to carry that momentum over to Saturday’s contest against Columbia Academy at Tom Higgins Field. But the Trojans ran into junior left-hander Baylee Dees. Dees, who transferred to Columbia Academy from Page prior to the current school year, limited the Trojans to two hits and a run over six innings. ... (click for more)