Towboat company fined $525,000

A Houma towboat company has been ordered to pay $525,000 in fines and penalties after pleading guilty to violating federal environmental regulations.

Cenac Towing violated the Clean Water Act between June 2008 and January 2010 by failing to collect samples of the raw sewage discharged by its former yard, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in New Orleans.

Cenac Towing’s permit allowed it to discharge certain pollutants in limited amounts as long as it tested samples and submitted reports to the state Department of Environmental Quality.

The company, owned in part by businessman Arlen “Benny” Cenac, did not do this, prosecutors said.

Of the penalty, $375,000 is a fine and the rest a community-service payment.

The company pleaded guilty in March.