As recent reports have come out again about more untreated waste released into the Susquehanna River by the Binghamton-Johnson City sewage plant, a former Oswego Wastewater Treatment Plant supervisor is looking at time in federal prison for discharging waste into Lake Ontario and failing to report it or do anything to fix the problem.

Bob Joseph/WNBF News
Bob Joseph/WNBF News

61-year-old Gary Hallinan of Oswego pleaded guilty in federal court May  to negligently discharging wastewater 60-times higher than the plant’s permit allowed between March and June of 2015.

Federal Investigators say the plant’s centrifuge went on the fritz and stopped operating, sending sewage into the lake over the next five months. Authorities said he didn’t report the break to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation or take steps to rectify the situation, allowing solid sewage to flow into Lake Ontario.

He faces up to a year of prison and a fine of up to $100,000.

Meanwhile, following some recent heavy rainstorms in the Southern Tier, reports again were coming from environmental officials of untreated water flowing from the sewer plant on the banks of the Susquehanna River in Vestal.

In August of last year, Binghamton Mayor Richard David told WNBF’s Binghamton Now that wastewater discharges will continue in the future but the city was not facing any potential penalties.

At that time, it was said hundreds of millions of gallons of effluent poured into the river over the course of several months during periods of heavy rain when systems couldn’t handle the volume.  In mid-August, reports from Wilkes Barre said 35-million gallons of untreated waste came from Binghamton in a week.


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