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Father, Son and Company Sentenced for Dumping Restaurant Waste Down Sewers in Philadelphia, Bucks and Montgomery

Release Date: 11/18/1999
Contact Information: Donna Heron, 814-5113

Donna Heron, 814-5113

PHILADELPHIA - The U.S. District Court in Philadelphia today sentenced Harry J. Bowman, his son Jeremy R. Bowman, and their corporation, Modern Disposal, Inc. (Modern), for dumping restaurant grease waste into the sewer systems of Philadelphia, Doylestown and E. Norriton Township, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced today.

On Feb. 26, 1999 these parties were charged under the Clean Water Act with knowingly dumping grease trap waste collected from fast-food restaurants into municipal sewer systems. The government alleged that the Bowmans illegally used their company to dispose of approximately 570,000 gallons of grease waste between 1992 and 1996. The Bowmans and Modern Disposal pleaded guilty to criminal violations of the Clean Water Act.

In today’s sentencing, the Bowmans and their company were collectively fined $25,000, and ordered to pay $9,959 in restitution to the City of Philadelphia. Additionally, Jeremy Bowman was sentenced to eight months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, and Harry Bowman was sentenced to six months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release. The judge recommended that they be permitted to serve their sentence in a community training center. Their company was placed on probation for a three year period.

Under Clean Water Act regulations, grease and grease-trap waste cannot be dumped into sewer manholes, but must instead be disposed of at specifically designated locations. This requirement is designed to avoid overwhelming the treatment capacity of wastewater treatment plans.

This prosecution was conducted by the U.S. Attorneys Office in Philadelphia, with legal assistance from EPA’s regional criminal enforcement counsel. The criminal investigation was conducted by EPA Region III’s Criminal Investigation Division.