4/28/16
PUBLIC INTEREST CENTER, (614) 644-2160
MEDIA CONTACT: Dina Pierce
CITIZEN CONTACT: Darla Peelle

Ohio EPA Seeks Public’s Help to Identify Cemetery Dumping Suspect

Bags of infectious waste were illegally dumped in Toledo’s Forest Cemetery on Oct. 13, 2015. Ohio EPA is seeking assistance from anyone who may have seen the activity or know the person or people who dumped the material.

About a dozen red “biohazard” bags were discovered along a tree line on the southeast side of the cemetery property at 1704 Mulberry St.

The state and city investigation found that the bags contained waste from the former Tate’s Funeral Service, 3302 Lagrange St., which closed in May 2015. Surveillance video of the cemetery entrance shows a black Dodge pickup truck carrying red bags entering the cemetery about 5:11 p.m. Oct. 13, 2015, and leaving with an empty truck bed six minutes later.

Infectious waste is defined by state law and includes human biological material, blood and body fluids and substances that were or are likely to have been exposed to or contaminated with infectious agents.

Ohio EPA is investigating the incident and is requesting the public’s help to continue efforts to identify those responsible.

Anyone with information is encouraged to call Rick Hassinger at Ohio EPA’s Northwest District Office in Bowling Green at (419) 352-8461 or (800) 686-6930, or email: derek.hassinger@epa.ohio.gov.

 

EDITOR’S NOTE: A closed circuit TV video of the pickup truck entering and exiting the cemetery is available here.

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The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency was created in 1972 to consolidate efforts to protect and improve air quality, water quality and waste management in Ohio. Since then, air pollutants dropped by as much as 90 percent; large rivers meeting standards improved from 21 percent to 89 percent; and hundreds of polluting, open dumps were replaced with engineered landfills and an increased emphasis on waste reduction and recycling.


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