A Batesburg-Leesville contractor was sentenced for his role in the contamination of a Savannah River tributary three years ago.
The U.S. Attorneys Office said 44-year-old John Mabus was sentenced to five years probation, including eight months of home confinement, for his role in a January 2008 spill. He pleaded guilty to a negligent violation of the Clean Water Act in May.
Mabus’s company, Mabus Construction Co., Inc., was digging a ditch for a sewer line near the Clearwater Finished Industrial Facility– an abandoned textile mill in North Augusta. As Mabus and those working for him dug, water from a heavy metal-contaminated lagoon got into the ditch. To stop the flow, prosecutors said Mabus instructed his employees to pump water from the lagoon into Little Horse Creek.
The pumping lasted for approximately three days, draining the pond. Officials say the company piped approximately four million gallons of industrial wastewater and sludge into the creek.
Since then, investigators say that the regular flow of the Little Horse Creek has substantially disbursed the contaminants away from the site and diluted them.
The Environmental Protection Agency and state Department of Health and Environmental Control were also involved in the investigation.