(COLUMBUS, Ohio) — Mention the Ohio Attorney General’s Office, and many Ohioans are likely to think of its consumer protection efforts, the fight to stop the illegal drug trade and human trafficking, high-profile lawsuits against those who fueled the opioid crisis or the crime-fighting expertise of the Bureau of Criminal Investigation.
Far fewer, though, probably know about the vital role the office plays in protecting the state’s environment from bad actors who would poison our air, our water, our homes and our communities.
As Ohio and the rest of the world observes Earth Day, Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost today spotlights the legal work of his Environmental Enforcement team in a new special report, “This Land Was Made for You and Me.”
“To paraphrase President Teddy Roosevelt,” Yost said, “the credit goes to the men and women in the arena – those whose blood and sweat, dedication and persistence ensured these many wins.”
The report details some of the office’s notable environmental victories during Yost’s first three years as attorney general. The team, for example:
- Won a $3.5 million settlement from automotive giant Volkswagen after the company rigged its vehicles to underreport emissions.
- Sued the owner of a landfill whose overwhelming “rotten egg” stench was destroying the quality of life for neighboring residents, winning millions of dollars in penalties and fees.
- Halted the illegal takeover by trespassers who, without seeking the proper certifications or permits, began excavating publicly owned land along the Maumee River shoreline to build a private boat ramp for residents of a nearby housing development.
“In the Attorney General’s Office, we talk a lot about ‘Doing Big Good’ for Ohioans,” Yost said. “This special report is full of examples of Big Good. The enforcement efforts of my environmental team have stymied many violators who think nothing of abusing the land, air and water that we all depend on for their own, self-serving gain.
“Our mission is to make this great state a safe place for all Ohioans, both present and future, to live.”