September 29, 2005
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
has been convicted of water pollution in Wicomico County. The
Honorable Kathleen L. Beckstead of the Circuit Court for
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
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
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.