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For Immediate Release
September 29, 2005
Media Contact:
Kevin Enright 410-576-6357

SEPTIC HAULER JAILED FOR ADDITIONAL SIX MONTHS FOR DUMPING HUMAN WASTE


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 Wicomico County. The Honorable Kathleen L. Beckstead of the Circuit Court for Wicomico County sentenced Adkins to serve six months in jail consecutive to a one-year sentence Adkins received after being convicted of a similar crime in Somerset County in August.

The conviction results from Adkins illegally discharging septage into a drainage ditch along Mt. Hermon Road outside Salisbury in Wicomico County. The drainage ditch flows into Horsebridge Creek and the Wicomico River. Septage is pumped out of septic tanks and contains human waste. “ Septic haulers are vital to the proper disposal of waste in many suburban and rural areas of our State. Individuals who flagrantly disregard their responsibility and dump septage do a tremendous disservice to their communities and the health of our waterways. We will hold accountable any septic hauler that despoils our environment like this,” said Attorney General Curran.

Adkins, was the owner/operator of a septic hauling business named American Septic Care, Inc. American Septic Care was paid to pump out residential and commercial septic tanks, and was required to haul the pumped septage to licensed waste disposal facilities. In early March 2005, Adkins dumped the contents of a septic tank truck into a drainage ditch that adjoined 32458 Mt Hermon Road, a residence where Adkins stored his trucks. Investigators from the Attorney General’s Office documented the presence of septage in a ditch along the west side of the property. They observed gray cone-like discharge points of septage along approximately a three hundred-foot stretch of ditch. They determined it was in fact septage, and contained human waste, based on their training and relying on the presence of discarded toilet paper, prophylactics and other human hygiene products.

In addition to the Somerset County conviction for which Adkins is serving a year in jail, Adkins was also 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 with the assistance of the Wicomico County Health Department.

 

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