Cincinnati OH (8/29/2023) – The owner of Cincinnati-based landscaping empire is facing contempt charges for failing to comply with a court-ordered plan to remove waste and debris that he illegally discarded on one of his company properties, Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost announced today.
Yost is urging a Hamilton County Common Pleas judge to impose the most stringent penalties possible against Douglas Evans, including a 30-day jail term and supplementary fines.
“Compliance is not optional,” Yost said. “Doug Evans needs to clean up the community menace he created or face the consequences.”
The contempt charges stem from a March 2021 lawsuit filed by the Attorney General against Evans and several of his companies for unlawfully burying wastes, open-dumping scrap tires, and illegally disposing of construction and demolition debris. The violations spanned several years and three sites owned by Evans: Broadwell, Mount Carmel and Round Bottom.
As part of a consent order negotiated in September 2022 , Evans agreed to pay a civil penalty of $550,000 and clean up the sites according to a plan issued by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency and the Hamilton County Public Health District. The removal plan requires him to submit weekly progress reports detailing his waste-removal activities.
Evans subsequently contested certain technical aspects of the plan, and the Ohio EPA and county health district provided clarifications in writing.
Excavation has begun at the Broadwell site, but Evans has stopped removing debris from that location, leaving it lying on the ground. He also has failed to submit the mandatory progress reports.
On Aug. 17, Hamilton County issued a violation notice, warning Evans that the state is likely to take further legal action if he did not comply within seven days.
Evans’ refusal to act prompted the contempt charges by Yost’s office, a move designed to ensure that Evans meets the plan’s schedule – which, according to an engineer hired by Evans, is feasible by Dec. 31, 2023.