Mass Polluter Sentenced to Four Years in Prison

BATAVIA OH (7/13/2021) — A local waste hauler who created significant environmental hazards on his properties by illegally dumping acres of trash has been sentenced to four years in prison, Attorney General Dave Yost announced today.

Donald W. Combs, 53, of Milford, was sentenced in Clermont County Common Pleas Court after pleading guilty in April to eight felonies: three counts of illegal open dumping of solid waste, two counts of illegal operation of a solid waste facility without a license, two counts of violating Ohio EPA environmental protection orders and one count of illegal open burning of solid wastes.

“Your home might be your castle, but your yard is not your landfill,” Yost said.

The offenses occurred at an unlicensed landfill adjacent to Combs’ home in a residential neighborhood at 1779 Parker Road in Milford and at the unlicensed commercial site of his waste hauling business at 1503 State Route 28 in Goshen Township. Combs also illegally dumped solid waste on another property owner’s land adjacent to the State Route 28 site.

For several years, Combs solicited waste hauling business mostly on Craigslist and Facebook, undercutting competitors who factored in the costs of properly dumping solid waste in a licensed landfill. He illegally dumped thousands of pounds of waste from large roll-off boxes he hauled away for customers cleaning out homes and businesses in the tri-state area.

Some of the piles of waste, which were comingled with construction and demolition debris, were more than 20 feet high at both unlicensed sites. Cleanup costs are estimated at nearly $1.3 million.

The criminal investigation was conducted by the Environmental Enforcement Unit at the Bureau of Criminal Investigation, a division of the Ohio Attorney General’s Office, and the criminal environmental cases were handled by prosecutors from Yost’s Environmental Enforcement Section. The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency’s Special Investigations Unit also assisted in the case.

MEDIA CONTACT: Luke Sullivan: 614-270-2662

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