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Mason man sentenced in water pollutant case

Jan. 18, 2013 @ 11:20 PM

Francis Zuspan received a 1-year, 6-month prison sentence Tuesday from U.S. District Judge Robert C. Chambers. He had pleaded guilty to discharging pollutants into national waters without a permit.

Zuspan, 61, of Mason County, W.Va., had signed an agreement with prosecutors stating he discharged untreated sewage into a Mason County pond that leads to the Ohio River.

It further states Zuspan did so on multiple occasions between November 2010 and February 2011, but the plea agreement focused on a single incident in December 2010. That was when Zuspan discharged 2,400 gallons of untreated sewage into the pond, located in Loudermilk Hollow. It occurred at a time when Zuspan engaged in a business of cleaning residential and commercial septic systems, along with collecting sewage in West Virginia and Ohio.

In exchange for Zuspan's guilty plea, federal prosecutors agreed to dismiss an earlier indictment that accused Zuspan of discharging pollutants, untreated sewage and portable toilet waste into a pipe connected to the town of Mason's public treatment system. That action caused a malfunction and resulted in a temporary cessation of operations, according to the now-dismissed indictment.

Zuspan had pleaded guilty to a similar charge in November 2002 and later received four years of probation with a $4,000 fine, according to the indictment.



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