Office of the Attorney General
Attorney General Greg Stumbo Announces Arrest Following Overnight Raid of Septic Company Caught Dumping Waste into Big Sandy River
Dave Bowling was indicted this morning by a Franklin County Grand Jury. Commonwealth’s Attorney Larry Cleveland presented the case. Bowling is charged with a Class D Felony for violation of KRS 224.70-110 – prohibition against water pollution (see below). Dave’s son, Lance, age 29, of East Point Kentucky, was arrested last night by agents of the Kentucky Bureau of Investigation. Dave and Lance Bowling are being housed at the Franklin County Detention Center. [Surveillance video is available at Office of the Attorney General in Frankfort upon request.]
Attorney General Greg Stumbo today announces the arrest of Dave Bowling, age 59, in Hagerhill, Kentucky by agents of the Kentucky Bureau of Investigation (KBI) for illegally dumping raw untreated sewage into the Big Sandy River, less than one mile from the Paintsville public water intake.
Bowling, owner of Dave’s Concrete Products and Septic Service, was caught in the act of dumping the sludge and solid waste last night after a 6-month joint investigation by the Attorney General’s Kentucky Bureau of Investigation (KBI), US Environmental Protection Agency - Criminal Investigation Division (US EPA CID), and the Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet (EPPC).
Bowling collected raw sewage from commercial and private septic systems in Johnson, Floyd and Martin Counties, including the sewage treatment plants serving Paintsville operated by East Kentucky Waste. East Kentucky Waste is owned and controlled by Dave Bowling’s son, Lance Bowling, who is currently being sought by law enforcement under an outstanding bench warrant. On Monday night, under cover of darkness, KBI agents witnessed Dave Bowling discharge an 8,500 gallon tanker truck of sewage into a drain leading directly into the Big Sandy River. Bowling admitted to KBI agents that he dumped at least once a week over an eight month period.
The sewage was flushed into a storm drain at a facility leased by Dave Bowling located just off Route 1428 in Johnson County. Previous extensive surveillance conducted by the Civil and Environmental Division of the Office of the Attorney General, along with the EPPC, established a pattern of suspicious activity alerting authorities to the massive, illegal dumping operation.
“Last night’s raid was made possible by the months of diligent law enforcement work by my office in association with state and federal environmental agencies,” said Attorney General Stumbo. “This is a great example of what we can accomplish by working together.”
Under state law, Bowling has allegedly violated KRS 224.70-110. This general prohibition against water pollution reads: “No person shall, directly or indirectly, throw, drain, run or otherwise discharge into any of the waters of the Commonwealth, or cause, permit or suffer to be thrown, drained, run or otherwise discharged into such waters any pollutant, or any substance that shall cause or contribute to the pollution of the waters of the Commonwealth….” Violation of this law is a Class D felony, punishable by a fine not to exceed $25,000 and by imprisonment for a term of 1-5 years for each separate violation. Each day a violation occurs constitutes a separate violation.
“Our investigation shows that at least one-quarter million gallons of human waste and sludge were dumped over an eight month period,” said Stumbo. “Protection of the public water supply is an essential duty of my office. On my watch, polluters will pay for putting Kentuckians at risk.”
The truck hauling sewage was labeled “WATER”.
The sewage was dumped into a drain flowing into the Big Sandy River.
Dave Bowling (left): Lance Bowling (right)