Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Grease dumper faces up to 3 years in prison
Environmental crime » Biodiesel company knocked out American Fork sewer system.
First Published Nov 04 2013 11:57 am • Last Updated Feb 14 2014 11:37 pm

Slade Barnett should have known grease and sewers don’t mix. The would-be biofuel entrepreneur exposed himself to a potential prison sentence when his now-bankrupt Utah company Denali Industries LLC flushed tallow, vegetable oil and other greasy substances and caused extensive damage to lines serving the Lakeside Planned Industrial Park in American Fork, according to court filings.

On Friday, Barnett, 49, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to the federal crime of introducing a pollutant into a sewer system knowing that it could cause property damage. He admitted that on three occasions in 2008 his company, which made diesel from fats, violated this law, and agreed to pay $15,000 in restitution to help pay for the damage.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

"This is not a case about somebody putting a little bacon grease down the sink at their home. This case is about a business introducing enough waste vegetable oil and tallow into the sewer system to cause parts of it to fail on at least three occasions within a three-month period," said U.S. Attorney David Barlow in a prepared statement Monday.

"When businesses jeopardize the sewer systems we all depend upon to keep us safe from disease, the Clean Water Act demands that we hold the leaders of these businesses personally accountable."

Twice Denali’s illegal dumping knocked out the sewer system’s lift-station pumps, which had to be replaced, and then clogged 300 feet of lines, according to his indictment.

Barnett, who now lives in Camano Island, Wash., faces up to thee years in prison and fines when Judge Tena Campbell sentences him on Jan. 16, but federal prosecutors have agreed to not "affirmatively" seek incarceration, according to his plea agreement.

A trench drain ran the length of the indoor shop where Denali conducted business. Court filings say this trench fed a grease trap, which discharged into a gravity-fed sewer line that Lakeside owned. Through a series of pumps and lift stations, Lakeside’s pressurized sewer line connected into American Fork’s municipal sewer system.

As part of the deal, prosecutors dropped a more serious charge of making false statements when he failed to say he discharged waste oil on a Timpanogos Special Service District survey.

Denali filed for bankruptcy in 2011 and is being sued by former business associates who are trying to enforce a $133,000 judgment by seizing what’s left of the company’s equipment.


story continues below
story continues below

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment

About Reader Comments

Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.