“A reoccurring problem for the past 20 years,” county health inspectors say about Evans Landscaping – WCPO

“A reoccurring problem for the past 20 years,” county health inspectors say about Evans Landscaping – WCPO

CINCINNATI — Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost sued Evans Landscaping owner Doug Evans in March, accusing him of open dumping and illegal disposal of construction waste at three facilities in Hamilton County.

Despite the lawsuit and threat of $10,000-a-day fines, county health inspectors say Evans continues to violate state laws.

The latest violations came after a Dec. 2 visit to his facility at 4229 Round Bottom Road in Newtown, where Hamilton County health inspectors cited him for improperly storing old tires and municipal solid waste.

“You must properly dispose of all unacceptable solid waste and any other prohibited materials at a licensed disposal facility … Failure to do so may result in referral of this case to the environmental division of the office of the Hamilton County prosecuting attorney,” according to the violation notice.

Inspectors visited the facility on the same day that prison officials sent Evans back to Cincinnati – Dec. 2. He was released from prison after serving six months of a 21-month sentence for minority contracting fraud and is now being monitored through home confinement until November 2022.

Through a public records request, WCPO obtained all notices of Evans’ county health violations through 1997.

Those records show that inspectors cited “reoccurring problems,” with the burial of waste, open dumping, scrap tires, illegal disposal of construction and demolition debris, and leachate runoff, at times into the Little Miami River.

Courtesy: Hamilton County

Hamilton County officials included this photo in an April 2014 violation of a grease drum tipped over, with spilled grease on bank of pond.

“This is something that really was a concern to us,” Yost said in a recent interview with WCPO. “It’s not just about clean air and clean water, the stuff you put on land has a tendency to get into the air and the water, and particularly ground water.”

Courtesy: Hamilton County

Hamilton County health inspector photos of Evans Landscaping on Dec. 2, 2021.

Filing civil complaints is a last resort, and Yost said his office tries to work with citizens to get them into compliance. But that didn’t work with Evans.

“We were just getting no cooperation at all and we had to go to court,” Yost said.

In a statement to WCPO, Evans’ attorney, Andrew Kolesar, wrote,Evans “Landscaping always attempts to comply with environmental laws and regulations and to address agency concerns. Evans Landscaping intends to work in good faith to resolve the state’s current enforcement action.”

The state’s civil lawsuit against Evans has been seven years in the making.

Courtesy: Hamilton County

Hamilton County health officials took this photo of Evans property during a March 2014 inspection.

Former Hamilton County Commissioner Timothy Ingram wrote a letter to then Attorney General Mike DeWine on July 1, 2014, asking him to file a civil complaint against Evans if they could not reach a settlement within one year. He cited 11 violations for open dumping of solid waste and illegal disposal of construction and demolition debris dating back to 1997.

Courtesy: Hamilton County

Hamilton County inspectors took these photos in a March 2017 inspection of Evans property showing leachate runoff.

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Source: https://www.wcpo.com/news/local-news/i-team/a-reoccurring-problem-for-the-past-20-years-county-health-inspectors-say-about-evans-landscaping

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