Arkansas Local News

Ohio Man Pleads Guilty to Dumping Contaminated Wastewater, Killing 40,000 Fish

A guy from Ohio has entered a guilty plea to the charge of poisoning the Scioto River with wastewater, which resulted in the deaths of over 40,000 fish.

On April 17, 2021, Mark Shepherd, 72, acknowledged discharging around 7,000 gallons of contaminants and dangerous materials into the Scioto River near Kenton, Ohio, in violation of the Clean Water Act.

The discharge was done carelessly and without the required licenses, and it contained ammonia, a pollutant and hazardous material. The sources of the pollution were Shepherd-owned and -operated businesses, Cessna Transport Inc. and A.G. Bradley Inc.

The event was discovered after a Hardin County fisherman discovered a significant amount of dead fish, some eighteen miles downstream from the disposal site. Numerous fish species, including black bass, flathead catfish, sunfish, and minnows, perished as a result of the tainted water’s severe effects on the aquatic ecology.

The Northern District of Ohio’s U.S. Attorney, Rebecca C. Lutzko, stressed the significance of protecting natural resources and holding people accountable for environmental damage. The prosecution of those who unlawfully release poisons into rivers, endangering the ecosystem and wildlife habitats, is demonstrated by Shepherd’s guilty plea.

Recreational fishing is a popular activity in the afflicted Scioto River basin, underscoring the effect that environmental harm has on nearby communities.

Attorney General Dave Yost of Ohio stressed the need of ethical corporate operations and threatened to hold anyone responsible for contaminating the state’s natural resources accountable. To protect Ohio’s land, water, and air, cooperation across numerous agencies and partners is crucial.

At his sentencing on August 12, 2024, Shepherd will be held accountable for his acts, which caused serious ecological harm and the extinction of animals in the Scioto River.

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