MARTINSBURG — A Springfield man must pay a $24,000 fine for violating permits and discharging untreated sewage into the Potomac.

Timothy Peer, 56, was sentenced Monday on charges stemming from his ownership of Mountainaire Village Utility near Ridgeley between 2008 and 2016.

He pled guilty in April to 2 counts — knowing violation of permit conditions and false statements on discharge monitoring reports.

Besides the fine, Peer will serve 5 years probation. The charges could have carried sentences of 3 years in prison and $500,000 in fines.

Peer had been charged in December with 14 counts in violation of both the Clean Water Act and his operating permit.

“Violating environmental laws often does long-term damage,” U.S. Attorney William Powell said at the time, “and risks the health of the people in our communities.”

Peer owned the Mountainaire Village facility from early 2008 to July 2016 and the charges stem from actions taken between 2014 and the time he sold.

Authorities say he falsely reported quarterly testing on the wastewater from the plant, yet continued to charge customers for treating their sewage despite not providing the service.

Assistant U.S. Attorney David J. Perri and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Perry McDaniel with the Southern District of West Virginia prosecuted the case. The federal EPA and the West Virginia Department of Environment Protection investigated. o

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