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For Immediate Release
August 25, 2005
Media Contact:
Kevin Enright 410-576-6357

SEPTIC HAULER JAILED FOR ONE YEAR FOR WATER POLLUTION


Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr. announced today that Paul Wayne Adkins, 61, formerly of Hall Highway, in Crisfield, Maryland has been convicted of water pollution in Somerset County. Visiting Judge Alfred Truitt heard the case in the Circuit Court for Somerset County and sentenced Adkins to serve one year in jail.

The conviction results from Adkins illegally discharging commercial grease directly into Manokin Run, off of Recycle Drive, in Somerset County. Commercial grease is material that is pumped out of grease traps at restaurants and other commercial kitchen facilities. Adkins, was the owner/operator of a septic hauling business named American Septic Care, Incorporated. American Septic Care pumped out residential and commercial septic tanks (and commercial grease traps) and hauled the pumped septage and grease to licensed disposal facilities.

“ The health of our waterways is of the utmost importance to all citizens of Maryland. We must hold accountable anyone who flagrantly disregards their responsibility and dumps into our waterways pollutant they have been hired to dispose of properly,” said Attorney General Curran.

On March 31, 2005, Adkins traveled with his 3,500-gallon tank truck to an isolated area of Recycle Drive. He backed the truck off the road and with the aid of a helper, Adkins opened the valves on the rear of the truck and discharged a large quantity of grease, collected from a grease trap at a commercial establishment, into Manokin Run. Manokin Run flows into the Manokin River before entering the Chesapeake Bay. After Adkins left, neighbors saw a discolored sewage-like material in the creek and along the bank where Adkins’ truck had been parked. The banks of the creek and much of the nearby vegetation were covered with a brown greasy residue that appeared to have been forced from a tanker under pressure. The grease contamination extended three to four feet up the trunks of trees on the opposite side of the creek. Additionally, there were fragments of toilet paper and other personal hygiene items stuck in the vegetation along the creek. The only lawful way to dispose of commercial grease or septage is to transport them to licensed facilities that charge to properly dispose of the material.

Adkins was convicted of dumping septage in Wicomico County in 2004. He served ninety days in the Wicomico County Detention Center on that conviction and was on probation at the time of this offense. Adkins is no longer in the septic hauling business and has sold American Septic Care. The maximum sentence for the illegal discharge of a pollutant into waters of the State for a repeat offender is up to two years in prison and/or a fine of $50,000.

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

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