Joe P. Asher
During a meeting of the Cumberland City Council on Tuesday, the council discussed payment of a fine that had been levied several years ago.
Cumberland City Attorney Parker Boggs explained how the fine came about.
“The fine was for polluting the environment with the mercury at the sewer plant,” said Boggs. “That’s what the violation was when that mercury came from the sewer plant and was dumped out onto the ground. You all know when that happened. That was many years ago and the rock was covered and stabilized so that it wasn’t going to get out into the streams and water and move away.”
Boggs explained the state would not approve a truck to go through the river loaded with the contaminated material and the weight limit on the only bridge at that time would not allow the material to be moved.
According to Boggs, there was some confusion as to how the contaminated material could be moved.
“They wanted to approve the person who would haul it,” said Boggs. “At one point, the county said we’ll let you use the county trucks, but the state would not approve that. They wanted a different kind of hauler that we had to pay for. At one point, the attorney — and this is where the confusion came — the attorney for the cabinet said we’ve tested this material two or three times over the years…the mercury wasn’t there anymore.”
Boggs explained to the council that although the material had tested positive for mercury initially, several tests conducted later showed no mercury. This weakened the state’s case causing them to reduce the original fine of over $50,000 to a much smaller figure.
“The initial fine was tens of thousands which they reduced to like 10 percent. The fine was from the very first time they took the stuff out of the sewer plant and dumped it out on the ground. That’s where the fine came from,” said Boggs.
A motion was made and passed approving a payment in the amount of $7,495 to the Kentucky Division of Waste Management to pay off the fine.
Reach Joe P. Asher at 606-573-4510 or email@example.com