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Distillery, owner facing criminal environmental charges

HARRISONBURG (AP) A Virginia distillery and its owner have been indicted on multiple charges involving illegal dumping of industrial waste, authorities said.

A Shenandoah County grand jury returned a 115-count indictment last week against Filibuster Distillery LLC and Siddharth Dilawri.

The distillery is charged with 47 counts of discharging industrial waste without a permit into a state water, one count of discharging industrial waste into a publicly owned waste treatment works, and one count of altering state water without a permit and making it detrimental to public health, The Daily News-Record of Harrisonburg reported.

Dilawri, the owner, is charged with 54 counts of discharging industrial waste without a permit into a state water, two counts of discharging industrial waste into a publicly owned waste treatment works, and one count of altering state water without a permit and making it detrimental to public health.

Filibuster Barrels LLC, also known as Dilawri Barrels, also faces nine counts of discharging industrial waste without a permit into a state water.

Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring said in a news release that the case marks the first criminal indictments related to environmental violations brought by his office and the state Department of Environmental Quality.

“Not only did this distillery allegedly dump tens of thousands of gallons of industrial waste into a stream, Dilawri also allegedly lied about it to investigators, and that will not be tolerated in Virginia,” Herring said.

Dilawri could not be reached for comment. Online court records list his status as “fugitive” and indicate that a writ has been issued for his arrest.

Shenandoah County Fire Marshal David Ferguson said the investigation began in December 2018 after he received complaints from neighbors of the distillery about odor and discoloration in a nearby creek.

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