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For Immediate Release

Media Contact:
Raquel Guillory, 410-576-6357
rguillory@oag.state.md.us

Wicomico County Septic Waste Hauler Convicted for Water Pollution Violations

BALTIMORE, MD ( March 10, 2010) - Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler announced today the conviction of a Wicomico County septic waste hauler and the company’s owner for water pollution and regulation violations. Chip’s Septic Care, a septage hauler, is owned and operated by Dale H. Daugherty. Chip’s Septic Care and Daugherty were each convicted of eight criminal counts pursuant to a plea taken in the Circuit Court for Wicomico County on March 9, 2010. Judge Don Davis ordered the company to pay a $2,000 fine to the Maryland Clean Water Fund. Daugherty was given a one year suspended sentence and placed on five years supervised probation. As a condition of his probation, Daugherty has been ordered to pay a fine of $8,000 to the Maryland Clean Water Fund.

The case was referred to the Environmental Crimes Unit after Wicomico County Health Department officials received an anonymous complaint that Mr. Daugherty was dumping the waste that he picked up as a septic hauler on his residential property in Tyaskin, Maryland. Officials went to the site upon receipt of the complaint and found the Chip’s Septic Care truck on the property with the hose laid out and a fresh puddle of sewage at the end of the hose. Officials found both fresh sewage and sewage that appeared to be several years old. There were also discarded toiletry and personal hygiene items seen on the sight. The location of dumping leads directly into a small stream that ultimately feeds into the Wicomico River. Testing at and near the site revealed extremely high fecal coliform counts. When confronted by investigators from the Environmental Crimes Unit, Daugherty admitted to dumping sewage on his property since 2001.

The Office of the Attorney General reminds all citizens to report violations of wastewater treatment to the Maryland Department of the Environment and/or the Attorney General’s Environmental Crimes Unit. The Environmental Crimes Unit conducted this investigation in conjunction with the Wicomico County Health Department, the Maryland Department of the Environment and the Maryland State Police. In making today’s announcement, Attorney General Gansler thanked Assistant Attorney General Michelle Barnes for her work on the case.

   

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