-A man accused of diverting raw sewage directly into a stream was arrested Tuesday, according to Attorney General Kathleen Kane. Charges were filed in Hawley before Judge Bonnie Carney.
William E. Neville, 85 of Moscow, was charged with one count of unlawful conduct, Clean Streams Law, a felony three; one count of prohibition against other pollutions, a felony three; and one count of pollution of waters, a misdemeanor three. Neville is the owner of the Neville Trailer Park, located at 377 Neville Road in Moscow.
The Attorney General's Environmental Crimes Section conducted an investigation based on a referral by Wayne County District Attorney Janine Edwards. Investigators said that Neville was “discharging untreated sewage into a tributary of Wilcox Creek.”
According to court documents, Neville violated the Clean Streams Law when he “did intentionally release sewage from the Neville Trailer Park and the Neville residence into an unnamed tributary in Wilcox Creek” between Dec. 9, 2008 and Dec. 12, 2012.
Wilcox Creek is a tributary to Wallenpaupack Creek.
The dumping was done “via a constructed pipe system.”
Neville has owned the property since 1981 and assumed a joint ownership with his daughter Nancy Neville Haines in July 2011.
On Aug. 10, 2011, Robert Corby, Sewage Planning Specialist for the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and Gary Enslin, Salem Township Sewer Enforcement Officer visited the Neville Trailer Park and detected sewage odors, but “couldn't locate the source.”
On Feb. 28, Corby learned of “potential water pollution problems” associated with the Neville Trailer Park from Enslin. On March 1 in an interview with Enslin, it was found that he became aware of the sewage problem in the vicinity of the trailer park “based on complaints by nearby residents.”
In samples that were taken from Wilcox Creek on Dec. 9, 2008, results indicated “constituents associated with sewage.” Neville was approached and he denied any knowledge of a source for the stream pollution.
Complaints continued to be sent to Enslin and on May 17, 2010 he observed what he deemed as “obvious septic wastes downstream” of the Neville Trailer Park. Again samples indicated sewage contamination.
On May 6, 2011 Enslin asked Neville if he could insert a camera into a pipe along Neville Road in an attempt to “determine the pipe's origin.” Instead, Neville covered the pipe outfall with fill. Enslin was granted access to the pipe on Oct. 6, 2011, where Enslin determined the pipe's origin was “in the immediate vicinity” of the Neville Trailer Park sewage collection system.
On Nov. 11, 2011, Corby and DEP Soils Scientist Tim Craven met with Neville. It was then that Neville admitted to “directly discharging sewage” from the trailer park to the unnamed tributary of Wilcox Creek “over the course of many years.” Neville stated that by opening a valve he could “divert sewage away” from the trailer park's on-lot sewage system. He primarily discharged to the stream at night.
Page 2 of 2 - On Nov. 14, 2011 after a site visit from Enslin, a gate valve, operated by a “T” handle was located and Enslin cemented the valve closed, “making it inoperable.”
On Nov. 20, 2012, Enslin received many complaints from residents on Neville Road about “toilet paper and sludge discharging from a pipe” and entering the unnamed tributary of Wilcox Creek. Samples once again showed constituents associated with sewage. A few days later Enslin visited the site again and witnessed sewage, “including toilet paper,” being discharged from the pipe.
A week later, Neville told Enslin and admitted the sewage collection system from the Neville household “was not hooked” to the Neville Trailer Park on-lot sewage treatment system and was discharging into the creek. Neville was told to “redirect the sewage” from the Neville residence to a “newly installed sewage collection area.”
On April 19, Neville said he's owned the property for 65 years and that the trailer park has been in existence for 36 years. He said he “put all the pipes in the ground” and that he installed the sewer system. He “was aware” that the sewage from the trailer park was discharging to the tributary.
On May 30, DEP learned that neither William Neville, Nancy Neville Haines nor the Neville Trailer Park “has ever had a permit to discharge into the waterways of the Commonwealth.”
No further court date has been set at this time.