Anderson Township, Ohio — Doug Evans, owner of Evans Landscaping, has been given 60 days to begin removing illegal waste as part of a $550,000 settlement with the state of Ohio.
His first jobs are to install a groundwater monitoring well near the Little Miami River at the Round Bottom Road facility and to dig a 25-foot test pit for buried waste at the Broadwell Road site.
A 40-page consent order signed by a Hamilton County judge on September 29 included specific cleanup requirements to remedy more than 20 years of environmental violations at three Evans landscape and gravel facilities near Newtown. is included.
“We have three separate sites, all of which threaten the Little Miami Watershed, and two of those sites have been found to have real leachate seeping into the water. It’s been a long time since we actually did anything with ,” said Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost.
Yost sued Evans last March at the request of Hamilton County and the Ohio EPA. According to county records, inspectors cited “recurring problems” including waste burial, open dumping, scrap tires, illegal dumping of construction and demolition debris, and sometimes little he said leachate runoff into the Miami River. I’m here.
“I don’t want to force businesses out of business if they don’t have to. If we can uphold the law, clean up this mess, restore what is right, and persuade everyone to play fair with the rest of the community, everyone will be in a better place.” Let’s go,” Yost said. “But make no mistake, we played the game, and if the rule of law had to crack down on this guy harder, they would.”
Evans, 60, is a renowned East Side entrepreneur who built a landscaping empire from a high school job hauling mulch from a pickup truck. He currently employs 250 people, ranging from sand and gravel, equipment rental, snow removal, dirt and firewood, ready-mixed concrete, tree services and masonry.
But one part of his business that has been repeatedly targeted by health inspectors is construction and demolition waste recycling operations.
Evans agreed to clean up construction waste and debris, but maintains that he did not violate the law, per a consent order.
According to Evans’ statement, “While Evans Landscapes did not necessarily agree with the position taken by the agency’s representatives and their attorneys in this enforcement action, the company stood by the professionalism displayed during the settlement process. We respect and appreciate it.” Pursuant to the Consent Order, we have taken or will take the necessary corrective actions to address the alleged violations. ”
Evans spokesman Nick Vehr could not immediately confirm whether decontamination had begun at the three sites.
Consent orders set a very specific timeline for cleanup. Tasks that should be done within the first 90 days include:
- The groundwater monitoring well was replaced with a new well, the second well was repaired, and a semi-annual well using four wells was installed at the 4229 Round Bottom Road site, Evans’ headquarters on a 90-acre site on the Little Miami River. Allow the test to start.
- To locate buried solid waste at the Broadwell Road 8361 facility, dig 16 test pits to a depth of at least 25 feet or until reaching natural soil or water. Waste must be excavated and removed, or Evans must submit a removal plan to the Hamilton County Health District and the Ohio EPA.
- Remove illegal debris at the 78-acre Mt. Carmel Road site where Evans Gravel is located, or submit a plan to the county and the Ohio EPA to limit the waste area. According to the consent order, a “historic and uncontrolled reclamation” occurred on 14 acres of the property.
Jason Gordon, who lives on Mount Carmel Road, adjacent to land owned by Evans, is concerned about the cleanup plan because Evans is allowed to use his company to rehabilitate the site.
“You believe convicted felons are self-monitoring, which is ridiculous … I don’t think Mr. Evans can be trusted to police himself,” Gordon said. We are now suing him for alleged zoning violations.
Evans was released from prison last December after serving six months for minority contract fraud and then several months under house arrest.
Evans is allowed to use his own equipment in the cleanup, but the consent order requires that third-party experts, such as scientists and engineers, be used to conduct groundwater tests and drill out of test pits. It is also required to determine the amount of solid waste. But each step is monitored by the Ohio EPA and Hamilton County Health Inspectors.
“We use his company to fix problems and clean up chaos,” says Yost. “The taxpayer doesn’t have to pay for it…he has to actually acknowledge what he did by fixing it.”
If Evans breaches the contract, pursuant to a consent order, he could be forced to pay between $300 and $1,000 per day until the breach is resolved.
“Breaching a court order can result in jail time for contempt,” Yost said. “We will look to Mr. Evans. If it turns out that he has not followed the agreement in the letter, we will go back before that judge and say, ‘Judge, hold him accountable.’ ’ I’m going to say.”
But Gordon worries that solid waste will affect his drinking water well and the nearby Little Miami River.
“(Broadwell’s) site is on the Little Miami River, so I’m pretty sure that as he excavates and exposes it, more is flowing into the river,” Gordon said. “And where is he going to dump it? It’s already been proven that he’s dumping illegally.”
Yost targets environmental crime statewide, including two incidents in Clermont County.
Donald Combs of Milford is serving a four-year prison term after years of dumping thousands of pounds of garbage, including a 20-foot-tall pile of garbage, into an illegal backyard landfill. Yost also announced that in 2021 he will be suing Charles Carney. An Ohio Department of Agriculture investigator found livestock standing in manure several feet deep on his dairy farm, and hundreds of dead fish floating in the Moores Fork Stream. After hearing the report.
“Our goal is compliance… what we want is to get to a place where people understand what the law is and follow it,” said Yost. “But if you don’t, there is potential for lawsuits and, in extreme cases, criminal prosecution.”
Under the settlement agreement, if a groundwater test determines that the Little Miami River has been affected by waste from the Round Bottom Road site, Evans will provide “a remedy acceptable to the Hamilton County General Health District and the Ohio EPA.” must be implemented.”
The full consent order is:
Evans Settlement with Ohio Concerning Environmental Violations To Paula Christian in scribbed