AG & Dep Put York County Waste Gasoline Dumpers In Jail

May 5, 2006

Attorney General Steven Rowe announced today that the last of three men responsible for dumping waste gasoline on back roads in York County reported to jail this week. Ken Horne, age 58, formerly of D&D Auto in Lebanon, is serving a seven-day sentence in York County Jail for the class D crime of turning hazardous waste over to a person without a license. James Martin, age 47, of Jim's Auto Repair in Lebanon is currently serving 120 days for the class C crime of transporting hazardous waste without a license, and Maurice Ducharme, age 39, of Sanford served 45 days earlier this year for disposing of the hazardous waste without a license. The jail terms follow guilty pleas by all three defendants over the past several months. Waste gasoline is classified as a hazardous waste due to its flammability at low temperatures.

In November, 2004, the Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) inspected D&D Auto, located on Route 202 in Lebanon. DEP staff identified and marked 40 55-gallon drums as containing hazardous waste and instructed D&D's owner, Ken Horne, that he could only dispose of the waste through a licensed hazardous waste transporter. On November 27, 2004, an anonymous call to law enforcement reported that two men were dumping waste from D&D on the back roads of York County using a van with dealer plates. The plates were registered to D&D Auto. Investigators also found that an officer at the North Berwick Police Department had encountered the same van on a back road in North Berwick on November 16, 2004. The van was transporting five empty drums, and its occupants were identified as Martin and Ducharme. The investigation eventually led to one of the dump sites, on the Mast Road in Alfred, and the waste was reportedly dumped on other back roads on at least two other occasions.

In addition to his jail sentence, James Martin is ordered to pay $1,000 toward the DEP's clean up costs at the Mast Road site, and is forbidden from contacting some of the State's witnesses, whom he is alleged to have threatened.

Attorney General Rowe said, "The days when the public and the State would ignore small-scale polluters are officially over. This case shows how the public and local and State officials will work together to nab polluters and preserve our land and water."

Attorney General Rowe commended the DEP staff for their efforts on the case.