A water treatment plant manager denied allegations made by Ohio’s environmental agency that he falsified reports about high levels of lead and copper being detected in some homes last summer.

The state Environmental Protection Agency said the operator of the small water system near Youngstown failed to notify the public for months that unsafe levels of lead had been found and submitted “misleading, inaccurate or false reports.”

Plant superintendent James Bates denied he falsified reports. “That is a downright lie,” he told The Vindicator in Youngstown.

Bates, who has been placed on administrative leave, declined to comment when contacted by The Associated Press.

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