The mayor of Glen Lyn, a small town in Virginia, is facing federal charges for allegedly ordering town officials to dump raw sewage into the New River. The town of Glen Lyn shared a waste treatment plant with a nearby town because it lacked its own facilities.
The indictment charges Mayor of Glen Lyn, James Howard Spencer with three counts of violating the Clean Water Act. The alleged illegal dump occurred in the summer of 2019, in December 2020, as well as in June 2021.
The Virginia State Police and the Environmental Protection Agency’s Criminal Investigation Division are jointly handling the continuing investigation. The mayor might be charged with up to three years in federal prison and a heavy fine for each count. Glen Lyn is a small town with less than 100 inhabitants located in Giles County, Virginia.
The town boasts of beautiful parks, trails, and a nearby 1,500-acre Kairos Resort on its website. The indictment alleges that Spencer directed town employees to pump sewage and other pollutants from a pump station behind the Glyn Lyn Post Office into the East River. Acting Special Agent in Charge Richard Conrad said that Spencer abused his position of authority and violated the public’s trust.
Anderson Legal is representing Spencer, and they released a statement on his behalf denying the allegations. United States Attorney Christopher R. Kavanaugh said that the government would hold those who violate environmental laws accountable, especially those in positions of authority.