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For Immediate Release
August 18, 2004
Media Contact:
Kevin Enright 410-576-6357

 

SEPTIC PUMPER JAILED FOR SEPTAGE DUMPING

Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr. announced today that Paul Wayne Adkins, 60, of the 32400 block of Mount Hermon Road in Salisbury, Wicomico County, Maryland has been jailed after pleading guilty to water pollution for dumping septage last summer in Wicomico County. Adkins who is the owner/operator of American Septic Care, Inc. admitted in Court that he dumped septage that he had pumped from residential septic tanks onto Fooks Road, outside of Salisbury on May 21, 2003.

The statement of facts in support of Adkins' guilty plea detailed that Adkins had been paid $140 - $150 by each of two Wicomico County residents to pump their septic tanks and dispose of the septage, which contains high levels of fecal coliform and other harmful bacteria, at an appropriate facility. Instead Adkins took his truck to an isolated area of Fooks Road and dumped the human waste and related debris onto the street and an adjoining drainage ditch. Drainage systems, including storm drains and ditches, are considered waters of the State because they drain into traditional waterways. By illegally dumping the human waste in the drainage ditch, Adkins saved roughly $50 he would have paid the Snow Hill Waste Water Treatment Plant to treat the waste.

The Honorable Kathleen L. Beckstead of the Circuit Court for Wicomico County sentenced Adkins to one year in jail and suspended all but 90 days to be served at the Wicomico County Detention Center. Adkins was placed on one year of supervised probation upon his release. Judge Beckstead also imposed a $10,000 fine and suspended all but $1,000 to be paid to the Maryland Clean Water Fund. The maximum penalty for water pollution is a year in prison and/or a $25,000 fine.

This conviction follows a joint investigation conducted by the Environmental Crimes Unit of the Office of the Attorney General and the Maryland State Police with the assistance of the Maryland Department of the Environment.

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