Free Daily Headlines


Set your text size: A A A

Brevard public works chief indicted for mishandling contaminated soil

A federal grand jury in Charlotte has returned a criminal indictment charging Brevard's public works director with ordering city employees to dig up and transport contaminated soil from a firing range backstop without proper protection and then store the tainted dirt improperly, U.S. Attorney Andrew Murray announced.

The indictment charges David Stuart Lutz, 64, of Pisgah Forest, with violating the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act by illegally directing the public works employees to dig up soil known to be hazardous for lead from the backstop of the city’s firing range without the use of the required protective equipment or procedural safeguards. The indictment also alleges that Lutz directed the employees to transport the contaminated soil in city-owned vehicles, without the requisite hazardous waste manifest, and that he instructed the employees to move the contaminated soil to the public works Operations Center and store it there, even though the area is not permitted as a treatment, storage or disposal area for hazardous waste, such as lead. According to the indictment, the alleged hazardous waste violations occurred in May 2016.

Lutz will have an initial appearance in federal court in Asheville before U.S. Magistrate Judge W. Carleton Metcalf in the coming days, the U.S. attorney's office said.

The charge of illegally transporting hazardous waste without a manifest carries a maximum prison term of two years and a $50,000 for each day of violation. The illegal transportation of hazardous waste to an unpermitted facility and the illegal storage of hazardous waste each carry a maximum prison term of five years.