Feds indict Brusco manager for illegally dumping dredged material

The following is the text of a press release issued by the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of California:
(SAN FRANCISCO) — The general manger of the Northern California operations of Brusco Tug & Barge Incorporated was indicted Tuesday for violating the Clean Water Act, United States Attorney Joseph P. Russoniello announced. Mark Guinn is charged with four separate incidents of dumping barges that contained dredged materials into waters surrounding Winter Island. According to the indictment, starting in 2003 and continuing into 2007, Guinn discharged and caused other Brusco employees to discharge dredged materials without a permit directly into waters of the United States.
According to the indictment, Guinn, 41, of Elk Grove, Calif., was responsible for the operations of Brusco in the San Francisco Bay Area. As part of its operations, Brusco, which is headquartered in Longview, Wash., would tow and dispose of dredged material generated during various dredging projects. Many of the projects Guinn oversaw involved the transporting and disposal of dredged material by barge onto Winter Island where it was intended for use in levee rehabilitation and maintenance.
Winter Island, a privately owned 453 acre property located on the western edge of the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta in Contra Costa County, is managed as a freshwater wetland habitat and duck hunting club. The island is one of the few places in the Bay Area with an identified beneficial use for dredged material and it accepted certain limited types of material pursuant to a permit.
Discharge of dredged material is regulated to protect water quality. The ultimate disposal location is determined in part by the level of contaminants in the dredged material and/or the sensitive nature of the receiving habitat. The discharge of dredge materials to surface waters or drainage courses surrounding Winter Island is prohibited. At no time did Brusco or Guinn have a permit issued pursuant to the Clean Water Act to discharge dredged material into waters surrounding Winter Island.
The maximum statutory penalty for each count of violating the Clean Water Act, Title 33 U.S.C. § 1319(c) is three years and a fine of $250,000. However, any sentence following conviction would be imposed by the court after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. § 3553.
Stacey Geis and Tina Hua are the Assistant U.S. Attorneys who are prosecuting the case with the assistance of Rayneisha Booth. The prosecution is the result of a three-year investigation by the United States Coast Guard’s Criminal Investigative Service and the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s Criminal Investigative Division.
Please note, an indictment contains only allegations against an individual and, as with all defendants, Mr. Guinn must be presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
By Professional Mariner Staff