As a precautionary response to COVID-19, Ohio EPA is currently operating with most staff working remotely. If you are working with our staff on a current project and you know the name of the employee you are working with, email them at firstname.lastname@epa.ohio.gov or call them directly. The Agency website has contact information for every district, division, and office. In order to reach us, please contact Ohio EPA’s main phone line at (614) 644-3020 or the main line for the division or office you are trying to reach.

After March 23, our district offices and Central Office will be temporarily closed and will have increasingly limited ability to receive deliveries, plans, etc. All entities are encouraged to submit plans, permit applications, etc., electronically where there are existing avenues to do so, such as the eBusiness Center (eBiz). Please refer to the list of available services on the main eBiz webpage. We encourage you to make use of all that apply, even if you have not used eBiz in the past. Plans under 25 MB can be emailed. For large plans over 25 MB, entities should work with the reviewer/division to upload via LiquidFiles. Directions for submitting docs via LiquidFiles is available on YouTube. We apologize for the inconvenience and thank you in advance for your understanding. If you wish to send hard copies of documents to any of Ohio EPA’s district offices, the best method to ensure we receive these documents is to send them via U.S. Mail. Since all offices are closed, deliveries outside of U.S. Mail (FedEx, UPS) will likely be returned because the offices are closed and deliveries cannot be made.

To report a spill or environmental emergency, contact the spill hotline (800) 282-9378 or (614) 224-0946



 

7/21/15

PUBLIC INTEREST CENTER

Media Contacts:  
Dina Pierce,Ohio EPA,(614) 644-2160
Kate Hanson, Ohio Attorney General's Office,(614) 466-3840

Company, Owner Sentenced in Asbestos Dumping Case


Donzell Moore of Toledo was sentenced today in Lucas County Court of Common Pleas after pleading guilty in June to two charges related to asbestos removal and disposal during demolition of the former Champion Spark Plug facility on Upton Avenue in Toledo.

“I take illegal dumping and asbestos disposal crimes very seriously. The people who commit this crime believe they are saving a few dollars, but in the process they put public health at risk,” said Ohio EPA Director Craig W. Butler. “I appreciate the public providing tips that led to the convictions, and thank our local, state and federal partners who brought these men to justice.”

Moore, 41, pleaded guilty on June 4 to charges of complicity to remove asbestos without a certification or license, a felony, and illegal disposal of construction and demolition debris, a misdemeanor. He was sentenced to 30 days in jail with work release, three years of community control and 240 hours of community service. He also was ordered to pay $25,274.37, jointly with his company, to Ohio EPA for cleanup costs. The court also reserved a 12-month prison sentence if Moore violates the terms of his community control.

Moore’s company, Moorhouse Real Estate Development, LLC, also was ordered to pay court fines totaling $10,750. The company pleaded guilty to complicity to remove asbestos without a certification or license and removing asbestos without notifying Ohio EPA and illegal disposal of construction and demolition debris.

“Our communities are not dumping grounds,” Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine said. “Those who dump dangerous materials illegally and on someone else’s property must be held accountable. In this case, Mr. Moore put Lucas County residents at risk, and now he is facing the consequences of his actions.”

In October 2012, Moore paid scrap worker Ronald Gibson, 57, to illegally remove and dispose of friable (easily crumbled) asbestos pipe insulation from the Champion facility in anticipation of demolishing the boiler building. Gibson, of Holland, illegally disposed of the asbestos insulation in rural western Lucas County and in large trash bins behind an apartment complex in West Toledo.

The dump site in western Lucas County was discovered in November 2012 on private property off Old Stateline Road in Monclova Township. After evidence was collected, the asbestos insulation was cleaned up and properly disposed of by an Ohio EPA contractor.

Ohio EPA worked with the Ohio Attorney General’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation and U.S. EPA and, with help from public tips, the investigation led to Gibson. Gibson pleaded guilty to removing asbestos without a license or certification, an unclassified felony; removing asbestos without notifying Ohio EPA, an unclassified misdemeanor; and illegal disposal of construction and demolition debris, a second degree misdemeanor.

Gibson was sentenced on April 15 to one year and 90 days in jail and a $750 fine on the latter two counts. He received three years’ community control including 160 hours of community service and was ordered to pay $5,374.37 in restitution. The jail time was suspended on condition he complete the terms of his community control and cooperate in the prosecution of Moore and his company.

Friable asbestos is easily crumbled and its fibers can become airborne. If inhaled into the lungs, it can cause serious health problems. For this reason, asbestos is a highly regulated material with special handling and disposal requirements.

The criminal investigation was a collaboration of multiple agencies at the local, state and federal level as part of the Northwest Ohio Environmental Crimes Task Force, which also included assistance from the Toledo Division of Environmental Services and Ohio Department of Health’s Environmental Abatement Section.

EDITOR’S NOTE: A high resolution photo of the dumped material 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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