Former Pittsburgh water and sewer supervisor gets probation for river pollution

(UC) -- Following a guilty plea, U.S. District Judge William Stickman IV sentenced Glenn Lijewski to three years of probation for his role in polluting the Allegheny River.

Lijewski, a former supervisor at the Aspinwall Drinking Water Plant, pleaded guilty in April to conspiring to violate the Clean Water Act, according to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). The drinking water plant sits along with Allegheny River and is operated by the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority (PWSA).

Between 2010 and 2017, Lijewski and another supervisor discharged clarifier sludge into the river and directed PWSA employees to discharge sludge into the river.

“Over time, an island formed in the river at the point where the discharges were taking place,” the DOJ said. “According to the indictment, a number of employees at the plant referred to the buildup as ‘Glenn’s Island.’”

Lijewski remained free on bond until his sentencing last week. Though the crime was punishable by up to five years in prison, the probation sentence was part of a deal he made with the U.S. attorney’s office, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported.

The agreement requires Lijewski to share his experiences with others involved in water treatment to “make sure they do what they are supposed to do in protecting the rivers and not what he did,” the article states.

James Paprocki, another Aspinwall drinking water plant supervisor, pleaded guilty last year and is set to be sentenced next month.

Judge Stickman previously sentenced PWSA to probation, ordering it to pay a $500,000 judgment and to start a compliance program, the Post-Gazette reported.

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