Princeton man sentenced to 10 days for dumping 96,000 gallons of sewage in a residential neighborhood

January 28, 2016

AUGUSTA - Attorney General Janet Mills announced today that Dennis L. Brown, Jr., age 32, of Princeton, was sentenced to 10 days in jail for violating Maine?s environmental laws. The Attorney General alleged that Brown, who served as the certified operator for the Passamaquoddy Tribal Government?s wastewater treatment plant in Indian Township, engaged in and directed the unlicensed discharge of untreated sewage from a malfunctioning pump station by dumping the raw concentrated sewage immediately behind a residential area over the course of several days in November 2014.

Brown initially reported to the Department of Environmental Protection that the sewage was being transported by truck to another station that was functional for further pumping to the tribal wastewater treatment plant. Contrary to Brown?s report, however, the sewage had been continuously dumped directly onto the ground and into nearby woods and waters. It is estimated that up to 96,000 gallons were unlawfully dumped before DEP was notified and corrective action taken.

Brown pled guilty to criminal violation of environmental laws in Calais District Court on January 27, 2016. Judge David J. Mitchell imposed the 10 day sentence and a $2,500 fine. Brown also agreed to formally surrender his wastewater operator?s certification. Brown is scheduled to report to jail on February 5.

?Most public works departments try hard to comply with Maine?s environmental laws in order to protect the environment and the health and safety of all Maine people,? commented Attorney General Mills. ?On those rare occasions when a person violates these laws with criminal intent, this office will prosecute and seek significant sanctions to deter future violations. In this case, not only was there an impact on the environment, but Brown?s conduct created a serious risk to the health and safety of nearby residents.?

Attorney General Mills thanked the Passamaquoddy Tribal officials and the Maine Department of Environmental Protection for their cooperation with this joint investigation. Assistant Attorney General Leanne Robbin and Assistant Attorney General Scott Boak handled the matter for the Attorney General?s Office.