Southwest Virginia mayor indicted for allegedly violating Federal Clean Water Act

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ROANOKE, Va. – The mayor of a town in Giles County has been indicted for alleged violations of the Clean Water Act (CWA), according to the U.S. Dept. of Justice.

James Spencer, mayor of Glen Lyn, has been charged with three counts of violating the CWA.

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The indictment accuses Spencer of directing town employees in Glen Lyn to pump sewage and other pollutants from a pump station behind the Glen Lyn Post Office into the East River, a tributary of the New River. Officials allege that Spencer did this on three separate occasions: the summer of 2019, December 2020 and again in June 2021.

“The protection of our nation’s waters is critical to ensuring environmental justice for all the residents of the Western District of Virginia,” United States Attorney Christopher R. Kavanaugh said Monday. “When individuals – especially those in positions of authority –pollute our rivers and streams in violation of the law, our Office will hold them accountable.”

The investigation is being jointly handled by the Environmental Protection Agency’s Criminal Investigation Division and the Virginia State Police.

You can read the statement from Spencer’s lawyers here.

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