Investigators within the Criminal Investigations Section of the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality and the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office arrested a Lake Charles man yesterday for two counts of knowingly discharging untreated sewage waste near Sulphur, LA.
Under Louisiana law, knowingly discharging a pollutant to waters of the state without the appropriate LDEQ permit and without any prior treatment is a felony.
Robert James Rollerson, 31, a former vacuum truck driver and employee of National Toilet Rentals, illegally discharged portable toilet waste into a ditch along Areno Road and La. 108 southeast of Sulphur on at least two occasions in January 2019. During the investigation, LDEQ CIS investigators interviewed eyewitnesses who saw Rollerson discharging sewage wastes from a National Toilet Rentals vacuum truck on January 9, 2019, and January 18, 2019.
Photographs taken by the eyewitnesses at the time of the incidents revealed toilet paper, sewage artifacts and a blue colored liquid in the ditch along Areno Road, which is consistent with the discharge of portable toilet waste. After extensive investigation and interviews with several eyewitnesses, LDEQ CIS obtained a felony arrest warrant for Rollerson on June 10, 2019.
Rollerson resigned from National Toilet Rentals shortly after the investigation began, and National Toilet Rentals officials cooperated fully with LDEQ CIS personnel throughout their investigation.
Rollerson was arrested on Wednesday, June 12, 2019, and could be fined up to $50,000 for each violation, subject to serve up to three years in prison, or both, according to LDEQ