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Guilty plea entered by man for unlawfully disposing of New Hampton’s sewage sludge

gavel-justiceCEDAR RAPIDS – A northern Iowa man pled guilty yesterday in federal court in Cedar Rapids to unlawfully disposing of the City of New Hampton’s sewage sludge.

Donald James Warnke, 64, from Sumner, Iowa, was convicted of one count of unlawfully disposing of sewage sludge from a publically owned treatment works.

At the plea hearing, Warnke admitted that, on June 19, 2015, he knowingly disposed of sewage sludge from a publically owned treatment works. More specifically, Warnke dumped domestic sewage from the City of New Hampton Wastewater Treatment Plant in a field, which violated federal regulations governing the disposal of such sewage sludge.

Sentencing before United States District Court Chief Judge Linda R. Reade will be set after a presentence report is prepared. Warnke remains free on certain conditions of release pending sentencing. Warnke faces up to three years’ imprisonment, a fine of not less than $5,000 but not more than $50,000 per day of violation, a $100 special assessment, and one year of supervised release following any imprisonment.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Tim Vavricek and Matt Cole and was investigated by the Environmental Protection Agency, Criminal Investigations Division.

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