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Man sentenced three years in prison for open dumping
|Messenger photo by Sean V. Lehosit
|The facility at 1388 Stimmel Road became an illegal operation when it began collecting household trash and non-construction debris.
The operation of an illegal solid waste facility in Franklin Township resulted in a sentence of three years in prison for former Butler County resident Richard Fintak.
Fintak also must pay $377,581 in restitution to the property owner from whom he rented the facility.
A plea bargain included charges of open dumping, operating an illegal solid waste facility and operating an illegal landfill/transfer station.
Judge David Cain sentenced Fintak on April 6.
Fintak was renting the facility at 1388 Stimmel Road. More than a year ago the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (OEPA) discovered it to be functioning as an open dump for household garbage, yard waste and large debris.
The OEPA alerted the Solid Waste Authority of Central Ohio (SWACO) the facility was accepting unregulated waste.
According to Fintak’s attorney Bernard Lancione, his client relocated to Indiana following a divorce. It was during that time the Environmental Crime Task Force of Central Ohio (ECTF) had Fintak arrested and extradited back to Franklin County.
“We will continue to use the full force of the law to prosecute these dumpers who keep the profits and leave taxpayers with health and environmental hazards,” SWACO Executive Director Ron Mills said.
According to Jodi Andes, chief public information officer for SWACO, transfer stations and landfills must be regulated by the OEPA. Once Fintak’s operation began accepting waste outside of construction debris, it became illegal.
Fintak told the courts four months ago the site would be cleaned up as part of a plea bargain, but it has instead grown, now covering an acre of land and rising 30 feet high, said Franklin County Prosecutor Heather Robinson.
Fintak encountered problems funding the clean up. Fintak was also dealing with a similiar case in Licking County concerning another landfill, Lancione said, which he is resolved.
According to SWACO officials, it will cost approximately $320,000 to remove and relocate the trash. It will take an estimated 707 truckloads to complete the job.
Andes said the operation is shut down and members of the ECTF are evaluating options for the waste removal. It is undecided who will be responsible for funding the clean up.
SWACO has run into several cases of illegal solid waste facilities in the last few years. A string of open dumping was reported in 2009 and one was discovered in 2012, but they all pale in comparison to the Stimmel Road find, Andes said.
Lancione said he might ask the court to consider probation with an agreement to clean up the site if Fintak is released early. Lancione said he feels his client’s sentence came down severe.
|On April 16, 2012 Mary said:
Three years prison time. Sentence Mr. Fintak to load up the debris and haul it to a legal landfill--one pickup load at a time until it is gone.
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