A waste hauler in Milford, Ohio, has been ordered to pay $1.5 million for illegally dumping large amounts of waste on his own property.
As reported by WLWT, a judge has upheld a complaint against Donald Combs, 55, of Milford, and his wife, Anita Combs, 50, finding the couple violated Ohio’s rules on solid waste and construction and demolition (C&D) debris. The judge also held that the waste constituted a public nuisance.
The case was referred to the Attorney General's Environmental Enforcement Section (EES) by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (Ohio EPA) and Clermont County Public Health after numerous complaints of open dumping and open burning.
The court found that the Ohio EPA and Clermont County Public Health spent substantial time inspecting Combs' properties for persistent violations of court orders.
State officials say these inspections, followed by the significant legal work of the EES, were "extraordinary," according to the judge.
EES claims that Combs for years covered acres of land near his home and commercial properties with tens of thousands of pounds of construction debris, solid waste, trash and scrap tires.
An Ohio EPA inspector testified that some of the piles were over 20 feet high and that cleanup costs for the sites approach nearly $1.3 million.
Combs, who solicited business mostly via Craigslist, undercut competitors who were factoring in the appropriate costs of properly dumping waste in a landfill, reports WLWT.