SCRANTON – The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that David D. Klepadlo, age 65, of Clark Summit, Pennsylvania, was sentenced on October 28, 2020, by United States District Court Judge Malachy E. Mannion to three years of supervised release, including one year of home detention, for violation of the Clean Water Act and tampering with a government witness.
According to United States Attorney David J. Freed, Klepadlo pled guilty to falsifying required Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) and the U.S. Environmental Protections Agency (EPA) documents over a period of several years. Klepadlo also pleaded guilty to tampering with a government witness at the onset of the criminal investigation by encouraging that witness to either not cooperate at all or lie to the FBI.
David D. Klepadlo & Associates, Inc. (Klepadlo’s company) also pled guilty to falsifying PADEP and EPA docs and was sentenced to five years of probation and a $10,000 fine.
Klepadlo was certified by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania as a waste water treatment plant operator. Klepadlo and his company contracted with local municipalities to operate and manage the municipalities’ waste water treatment plants in accordance with regulations and limitations in permits issued by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) and the U.S. Environmental Protections Agency (EPA).
The permits required that the permittee at all times maintain in good working order, and properly operate all facilities and systems installed and used to achieve compliance with the terms and conditions of the permits. For approximately two years, beginning in May 2012 and continuing through June 2014, Klepadlo and his company failed to properly operate and maintain the facilities (Greenfield Township Sewer Authority, Lackawanna County, and the Benton/Nicholson Sewer Authority, both Lackawanna and Wyoming Counties) and systems of treatment and control, in accordance with terms and conditions of the permits.
Klepadlo knowingly failed to take daily and weekly samples and measurements required for the purpose of monitoring pollutants discharged into waterways of the United States; knowingly created false test results and falsely reported those results in discharge monitoring reports submitted monthly to the PADEP and the EPA. Klepadlo also admitted to attempting to persuade a government witness to fabricate a false explanation for the Clean Water Act violations for the purpose of influencing testimony of a witness in an official proceeding involving the testing and registering requirements of the permits.
Waste water from the Greenfield publicly-owned treatment plan is discharged into a tributary of Dundaff Creek, which flows into Tunkhannock Creek, which flows into the Susquehanna River. Waste water from the Benton/Nicholson facility flows into a tributary of South Branch Tunkhannock Creek, which also flows into the Susquehanna River.
The charges were the result of a jointly conducted investigation by the Environmental Protection Agency, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, and the Federal Bureau of Investigations. Assistant United States Attorney Michelle Olshefski and Special Assistant Martin Harrell prosecuted the case.
# # #