NANFA-- Water plant director is sentenced in fish kill
Wed, 19 Nov 2003 09:51:01 EST

<A HREF="">Water plant
director is sentenced in fish kill</A>

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Water plant director is sentenced in fish kill

Prosecutors say diesel fuel was dumped into creek to cover the facility's
insufficient treatment of sewage.

By Jon Murray
November 19, 2003

A Warsaw, Ind., man who oversaw the dumping of tons of sludge and diesel fuel
by the city's wastewater treatment plant, killing thousands of fish in a
river, will spend nearly four years in prison.

A federal judge sentenced David Van Dyke, 53, to 46 months in prison on
Tuesday for sewage discharges and a subsequent cover-up last year while he was the
Warsaw plant's director. Van Dyke, who must pay a $39,370 fine, will begin his
prison term on Dec. 30.

The sentence, by U.S. District Judge Robert L. Miller Jr., was one of the
harshest for an environmental violation in state history. Usually such crimes
bring probation, home detention or a few months in prison.

"This was a significant sentence for an extremely serious environmental
crime," Assistant U.S. Attorney Donald Schmid said. "It polluted what was otherwise
a pristine creek."

Van Dyke pleaded guilty to three of 37 charges in August. Normally a plea
bargain would result in a more lenient sentence, Schmid said, but Van Dyke waited
until one week into his trial, after 26 witnesses had testified.

A phone message seeking comment from Van Dyke was not returned Tuesday

The investigation began in July 2002 after thousands of dead fish were found
in the Tippecanoe River.

Investigators from the Indiana Department of Environmental Management,
Indiana Department of Natural Resources and the federal Environmental Protection
Agency traced the contamination upriver and along Walnut Creek to the Warsaw
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