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Ohio EPA and local authorities convict dumpers

The Solid Waste Authority of Central Ohio (SWACO) and Ohio Environmental Protection Authority (Ohio EPA) jointly announced that a case involving illegal dumping in the Clintonville area Walhalla Ravine four years ago has been solved. Jeffery A. Garnder Jr. and Andrew Eckstein have pled guilty in Franklin County Municipal Court to one count each of water pollution for dumping paint and other materials in Walhalla Creek.

The two men were sentenced by Judge Harland Hale and ordered to pay $8,060 in restitution to Ohio EPA for removing the dumped items and cleaning up the paint contaminated creek, $787 in court fines and costs and to serve 100 hours each of community service removing litter from rivers and roadways.

Ohio EPA found 56 5-gallon buckets, containing mostly paint materials, which investigators determined had exploded in the ravine after being thrown from a moving vehicle for at least a mile along the creek. Ohio EPA oversaw the clean up, which involved removing the buckets, flushing the creek with clean water and vacuuming the paint contaminated water into tanker trucks for proper disposal.

Ohio EPA tracked the paint to the store where it had been purchased and to the companies that had purchased it. Numerous interviews with employees, property owners, tenants and family members led to the suspects.