Contractor indicted for illegal dumping in Potomac River

A government contractor has been indicted for allegedly orchestrating the illegal discharge of waste into the Potomac River over a three-year period, the U.S. attorney’s office said.

Patrick Brightwell, 47, of Georgia is facing federal charges in the District after allegedly directing employees to use a vacuum truck to clean storm water drains on the Mall and then dispose of the wastewater in a Hains Point storm drain which flows into the Potomac River.

The National Park Service had contracted with Brightwell’s company to properly dispose of the waste. His company received more than $500,000 for the work between 2008 and 2011. Brightwell also allegedly told his employees to conceal the illegal activity from the Park Service and the police.

Brightwell has been charged with eight counts, including conspiracy, a Clean Water Act violation, false claims and obstructing an investigation. He faces a maximum of 33 years in prison if convicted.

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