A Mississippi business owner has pleaded guilty to violating the Clean Water Act after illegally discharging industrial waste into the Jackson Sewer System.
Flowood native Robert David Douglas, vice president and co-owner of Gold Coast Commodities, Inc., admitted to his part in the improper disposal of waste into the city’s sewer system. According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the business is a fat and oil recycling business in Brandon.
Douglas also confessed to authorizing payments on behalf of Gold Coast for the transportation and disposal of its industrial waste at a commercial entity in Jackson. As a result of his negligence, the waste was trucked and discharged to a facility that was not a legal discharge point designated by the Jackson Wastewater Treatment System.
Douglas will be sentenced on November 9, 2022, at 2:30 p.m. The case was investigated by the Environmental Protection Agency, Criminal Investigation Division, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Brandon Police Department, and the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality, with cooperation from the City of Brandon and the City of Jackson municipal governments.
Gold Coast Commodities has issued the following statement regarding Douglas’ case:
“Gold Coast takes protecting the environment and surrounding communities very seriously. The charges against Tom Douglas and John Welch arise from a civil dispute with the City of Brandon that was settled and the conduct of a former vendor who has already pled guilty to charges concerning waste handling and disposal. Since the DOJ informed us of their investigation, we have cooperated fully with the investigators and have taken numerous measures to prevent the recurrence of this sort of conduct by vendors we hire.”