Water management companies enter resolutions to pay $4.3 million in monetary penalties for Clean Air Act violations

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SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — According to United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, two water management companies have entered resolutions to pay over $4 million combined for violations of the Clean Air Act.

Rockwater Northeast LLC and Select Energy Services, Inc. will pay a combined $4.3 million. Select Energy Services, Inc., is the successor in interest to Rockwater Energy Solutions, Inc., parent company of Rockwater Northeast LLC.

Rockwater Northeast will pay $2 million after it was charged with 31 counts of violating the Clean Air Act, for tampering with the emissions systems on 31 heavy-duty diesel trucks owned by the company, and installing “defeat devices” that disabled emissions diagnostic systems on the trucks. Rockwater Northeast LLC also is alleged to have caused the trucks to pass annual vehicle safety inspections by the Department of Transportation (DOT), despite the modified emissions systems.

Select Energy Services, Inc. will pay $2.3 million. It entered a three-year non-prosecution agreement with the United States. The agreement resolves Clean Air Act violations for modified emissions systems on 29 additional heavy-duty diesel trucks that were owned by Rockwater Energy Solutions, Inc. Select Energy Services, Inc. has cooperated with the investigation since its acquisition of Rockwater Energy Solutions, Inc. in 2017.

Under the terms of the non-prosecution agreement, Select Energy Services, Inc. agreed to continue cooperating with the government, and to implement an environmental compliance program designed to prevent future Clean Air Act violations. Select Energy Services, Inc. also is required to conduct annual audits during the three-year term of the agreement, to ensure Clean Air Act compliance.

In addition, six individuals have been prosecuted in connection with this investigation; four of whom are current or former employees of Rockwater Northeast LLC, and two of whom are former
third-party vendors of Rockwater Northeast LLC.

All six individuals pleaded guilty to conspiring to impede the lawful functions of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and DOT, and to violate the Clean Air Act:

  • Brian Mellot, of Cumberland, Maryland, was sentenced to six months of
    imprisonment and one year of supervised release;
  • Gavin Rexer of Jersey Shore, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty and is awaiting
  • Dennis Paulhamus of Jersey Shore, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty and is awaiting
  • Joseph Powell of Hickory, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty and is awaiting sentencing;
  • John Joseph of Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty and is awaiting
  • Timothy Sweitzer of Jersey Shore, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty and is awaiting

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