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For Release: Monday, April 9, 2012

DEC Charges Westchester Man with Illegal Sewage Discharge

James P. Sheerin of Ardsley, Westchester County, was arraigned on April 5 in the town of Catskill Justice Court for the alleged illegal disposal of raw sewage to the Catskill Creek in the Greene County hamlet of Leeds, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Regional Director Gene Kelly announced today.

Following an investigation by DEC, Mr. Sheerin was charged with one count of discharging sewage to the waters of New York State without a permit, a Class E felony. The charge is punishable by up to four years in prison and/or a fine of up to $75,000 per day of the violation.

"DEC takes the health of New York's waterbodies very seriously," said Kelly. "This was a particularly egregious case which resulted in untold hundreds of gallons of sewage entering a popular trout stream over a period of several months."

DEC alleges that Mr. Sheerin pumped raw sewage from the septic tank at his three-unit rental property at 1114 Main Street in Leeds into a nearby drain which then flowed into the municipal stormwater system. Through surveillance and the execution of a search warrant, dye tests confirmed the raw sewage ultimately flowed into the Catskill Creek at the Leeds Stone Bridge about one quarter mile from Sheerin's rental property.

Mr. Sheerin entered a plea of not guilty and bail was set at $50,000 cash or $100,000 bond. Mr. Sheerin was not immediately able to make bail and he was remanded to the Green County Jail. His next court appearance is April 19.

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