July 22, 2008

Man Charged With Operating Sewage Plants Without License

By Kathleen Brady Shea, The Philadelphia Inquirer

Jul. 22--A Coatesville man entrusted with operating multiple sewage plants throughout Chester County did so for more than 21/2 years without a license, state authorities said yesterday.

Thomas M. Horrex, 54, was charged yesterday with three misdemeanor counts of unlawful conduct under the state's Clean Streams Law, according to a news release from Attorney General Tom Corbett. Each count carries a maximum penalty of two years in prison and a $5,000 fine, the release said.

Horrex, who could not be reached for comment, allowed his sewage treatment plant operator's license to expire on Dec. 31, 2005, but continued to test wastewater and operate sewage plants in Elverson Borough, Penn and East Goshen Townships -- facilities that required a licensed operator, the criminal complaint said.

Records for the Department of Environmental Protection show that Horrex did not complete continuing education requirements, so that his license became inactive, the complaint said.

The DEP asked for the criminal investigation, according to the criminal complaint. Neither the complaint nor the press release alleged any environmental damage.

Horrex is listed by Dun & Bradstreet as the president of Tmh Environmental Services Inc., a business with an estimated $510,000 in annual sales that employs seven and manages water treatment facilities.

The business' listed telephone number is disconnected.

According to the criminal complaint, Horrex managed the Elverson sewage plant for almost 16 years, the East Goshen facility for 21 years, and the Penn Township plant for seven years.

He is scheduled to appear before Magisterial District Judge Chester F. Darlington on Aug. 20 for a preliminary hearing, court records said.

Contact staff writer Kathleen Brady Shea at 610-696-3021 or [email protected]


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