Wastewater superintendent to resign

Posted: Wednesday, May 30, 2001

JUNEAU (AP) -- The city's wastewater utility superintendent plans to resign in the wake of pollution violations at a city treatment plant, according to local officials.

Andrew Bronson pleaded guilty in April to two misdemeanor counts of negligently violating the terms of a federal wastewater permit in 1998.

Bronson, who is scheduled to be sentenced June 20 in Anchorage, will resign at the end of June, City Attorney John Corso said. Bronson is on leave until then.

According to the U.S. Attorney's office, Bronson used tap water to dilute wastewater samples collected at the treatment plant before the samples were analyzed by other employees.

Juneau Assembly members last year agreed to pick up legal fees and other expenses related to the case. Bronson agreed to repay the city if the assembly decides he has not met standards of conduct required for payment under city ordinance.

Because the criminal process is not complete, it is too early to say what the city's obligations will be, Corso said. The city has picked up $85,540 in legal fees for Bronson and expects to receive at least one more bill, he said.

Bronson declined to talk about the case, and his attorney, Brian Doherty, could not be reached for comment.

The federal Environmental Protection Agency also filed a separate complaint, accusing the city of violating pollution standards at the treatment plant in 1999.

Corso said negotiations between the city and the EPA have been productive and the issue could be resolved in a week or two. The agency had proposed the city pay a $60,000 fine.

Earlier this month, assembly members approved $387,500 for improvements at the treatment plant. The city is also in the middle of a project to address a separate pollution issue by connecting a neighborhood in North Douglas to the city's sewer system.

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