(COLUMBUS, Ohio) — A Cincinnati business owner who used his four companies to illegally discard waste at three sites – and whose dumping may have polluted the Little Miami River – has been ordered to pay a civil penalty of $550,000 and clean up his mess, Attorney General Dave Yost announced today.
One-fourth of the penalty – $137,500 – will be awarded to the Little Miami Conservancy.
“When it comes to protecting the state’s waterways, we do not just go with the flow,” Yost said. “Illegally dumped waste doesn’t just sit there on the land – it breaks down into toxins that find their way into the water. This remedy will make sure that doesn’t happen, and the fine will hit him hard where it hurts – his wallet.”
The civil penalty stems from a lawsuit filed by the Ohio Attorney General’s Office (AGO) in Hamilton County Common Pleas Court. The suit maintains that Douglas Evans – through Evans Landscaping and three other businesses he owns – violated Ohio laws regulating disposal of solid waste and construction and demolition debris at properties on Mount Carmel Road, Broadwell Road and Round Bottom Road.
The case was referred to the AGO from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency and the Hamilton County Public Health District.
During multiple inspections over several years, health district officials saw that parts of demolished buildings, garbage and other solid wastes had been dumped or buried at the three sites, none of which is licensed as a facility for disposal.
As part of the consent order worked out with the AGO and approved by the court, Evans agreed to clean up his properties and correct violations according to a plan authorized by Ohio EPA and the Hamilton County health district.
- At the Mount Carmel site, he will build a cap over areas where construction and demolition debris were illegally disposed – to prevent water from reaching the debris and causing harmful chemicals to leach out.
- At the Broadwell site, under the supervision of the Ohio EPA and health district, he will dig out and remove illegally disposed waste.
- At the Round Bottom site, he will conduct groundwater monitoring to ensure that waste from his property is not affecting groundwater quality or the Little Miami River. If it is, Evans will perform the necessary remediation.
If Evans fails to comply with any requirements of the order, he will immediately be liable and have to pay additional penalties.