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Attorney General of Virginia

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Commonwealth of Virginia
Office of the Attorney General

Mark Herring
Attorney General

202 North Ninth Street
Richmond, Virginia 23219

 

For media inquiries only, contact:  
Charlotte Gomer, Press Secretary
Phone: (804)786-1022 
Mobile: (804) 512-2552
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*PICTURE HERE*

HERRING, DEQ ANNOUNCE CHARGES BROUGHT AGAINST SHENANDOAH DISTILLERY FOR ENVIRONMENTAL VIOLATIONS

~ Filibuster Distillery and Sid Dilawri have been charged with 115 counts of dumping industrial waste into a state water following an investigation by the Shenandoah County Fire Marshal and DEQ ~

RICHMOND – Following a two-year investigation by the Shenandoah County Fire Marshal and the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), Filibuster Distillery, LLC, Filibuster Barrels, LLC, and Sid Dilawri have been indicted on 115 counts of violating the State Water Control Law by dumping over 40,000 gallons of industrial waste into a stream in Shenandoah County. Charges were handed down by a grand jury after presentation by the Office of the Attorney General and are the first criminal indictments related to environmental violations brought by the Office of the Attorney General and DEQ.

 

“All businesses, no matter what size they are, must adhere to state and federal environmental protections, and when they don’t, they will be held accountable,” said Attorney General Herring. “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. I want to thank our partners at DEQ and the Shenandoah County Fire Marshal for their help and coordination on this case. I hope these charges will send a message to other businesses that Virginia takes protecting our environment very seriously.”

 

“DEQ unequivocally values Virginia’s waterways and works with vigor to protect them every day,” said DEQ Director David Paylor. “Today, DEQ took necessary steps to carry out our mission to protect and improve the environment for the health, well-being and quality of life of all Virginians. With cooperation and support from the Office of the Attorney General, DEQ will continue to hold violators accountable.”

 

According to the indictments, the dumping of waste primarily occurred in November 2018, but the distillery continued to discharge industrial water with excessive levels of zinc and copper until at least September 2020. Dilawri initially denied that any dumping occurred and then claimed that there was a one-time accident at the distillery. However, he later admitted that he had given false information to law enforcement authorities and that he had known about the dumping. DEQ staff, along with the Shenandoah County Fire Marshal Dave Ferguson and other authorities, have investigated the impact of the dumping on the stream as well as on the local community and worked with Attorney General Herring’s Environmental Section to bring this prosecution.

 

The case is being handled by Senior Assistant Attorney General Paul Kugelman, the Section Chief for Attorney General Herring’s Environmental Section and Assistant Attorneys General Chris Bergin and Jerald Hess, with support from Major Crimes & Emerging Threats Chief Prosecutor Phillip O. Figura in Attorney General Herring’s Criminal Justice and Public Safety Division.

 

Criminal indictments are only charges and not evidence of guilt. Dilawri, Filibuster Distillery LLC, and Filibuster Barrels LLC are presumed to be innocent until and unless proven guilty.

 

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