City director no longer part of TWRA water pollution case

City director no longer part of TWRA water pollution case

February 4th, 2011 by Pam Sohn in Local - Breaking News

Jerry Stewart, Chattanooga's director of waste resources, was removed this morning from a water pollution case filed against the city by the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency.

Richard Beeland, spokesman for the city, said Hamilton County Sessions Judge Bob Moon took the action early today in Sessions Court.

Last week, Moon found Stewart guilty in connection with a TWRA citation against the city when a lightning strike knocked out pumps at the Moccasin Bend Sewage Treatment Plant. The result was a 12- to 14-hour spill of raw sewage at Browns Ferry Marina that killed 3,600 fish and forced live-aboard boat owners from their floating homes.

TWRA Officer Bobby Brown said he cited Stewart because TWRA must cite an individual, not an entity.

Stewart said city workers got the main plant running again quickly after the lightning strike, but failed to notice that the substation operating pumps near Browns Ferry remained down.

Beeland said Moon's action to remove Stewart from the case negates the sentenced imposed on Stewart last week. The judge had sentenced Stewart to 11 months and 29 days in the county workhouse.

Moon ordered the sentence suspended on good behavior and place Stewart on probation for a year.

The city will pay $788.10 to TWRA for restitution of the fish and will pay the $2,500 fine that had been levied against Stewart.

For complete details, see tomorrow's Times Free Press.