Per The Clarion-Ledger, a federal Judge in Mississippi imposed multi-year sentences on a real estate developer, his daughter (a real estate agent) and an engineer after the three were convicted by a jury for, among other things, violating the Clean Water Act. Per the newspaper:
The defendants sold lots to 67 families in [a]... mobile home park, all or part of which turned out to be federally protected wetlands, and installed cheap septic systems that likely would fail and contaminate the drinking water.
Authorities received complaints from residents about sewage, stomach illnesses and well water with a bad odor, color and taste.
The Judge also imposed $1.4 million in fines on the three defendants. Ouch.
This case stands in sharp contrast to the Rapanos case (see "WETLANDS" under "CATEGORIES" on the right-hand side of this page), wherein a Michigan federal Judge was of the view that the government was overreaching in its Clean Water Act prosecution of Mr. Rapanos for filling in alleged wetlands on his own property (the wetlands were remote from any navigable waters). The Judge refused to send Mr. Rapanos to jail. Of course, in Mr. Rapanos' case, he was not deceptively selling wetlands to third parties.
As reported in previous Posts/this Blog, the Rapanos case is presently before the US Supreme Court. The Supreme Court's ruling in the case will provide key guidance in the interpretation of the CWA.