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Biofuel company given probation for polluting Stockton sewers, violating Clean Water Act

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A California biofuel producer was sentenced Monday to three years’ probation after polluting water in Stockton.

American Biodiesel Inc., which does business in San Joaquin County as Community Fuels, was found to have violated the Clean Water Act after discharging industrial wastewater into Stockton’s sewer system, according to a news release issued by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of California.

In court documents, the company admitted to allowing the discharge of pollutants, and further admitted to tampering with monitoring systems meant to detect violations, according to the release.

Employees at American Biodiesel are alleged to have tampered with pH and flow monitors to under-report acid and pollutant levels which exceeded city regulations, according to the release.

Christopher Young, 41, of El Dorado Hills, who was the director of operations at the company’s Stockton plant, was charged with 12 counts of tampering with monitoring equipment, two counts of illegal wastewater discharge and one count each of witness tampering and false statements, according to the release.

His brother, Jeremiah Young, 38, who was Community Fuels’ assistant operator from 2014 to 2016, was also charged with eight counts of tampering with monitoring equipment and two counts of illegal wastewater discharge, according to the release.

American Biodiesel’s probation imposes monitoring and reporting conditions upon the company. The company also will pay a fine of $401,000 plus $256,206 in restitution to the city and port of Stockton, according to the release.

The company was also ordered to develop a compliance and ethics program, which will be subject to court review, according to the release.

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