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Press Release

Stark County man sentenced to more than three years in prison for dumping wastewater in Tuscarawas River

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Ohio

A North Lawrence man was sentenced to more than three years in prison for dumping wastewater into tributaries of the Tuscarawas River.


Adam D. Boylen, 46, previously pleaded guilty to four counts of violating the Clean Water Act by making unpermitted discharges. U.S. District Judge Sara Lioi sentenced him to 42 months in prison and ordered him to pay $85,338 in restitution.


“This defendant intentionally dumped waste into a tributary of the Tuscarawas River, killing fish and other aquatic life,” said U.S. Attorney Justin E. Herdman. “We will always protect our waterways and environment.”


“Protecting our water is critical, both for the health and safety of our citizens and our wildlife,” Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine said. “We will continue to assist in this case and others like it to protect Ohio.”


“The defendant's deliberate and illegal dumping of wastewater killed thousands of fish and wildlife and harmed the quality of local waterways,” said Scot Adair, Acting Special Agent in Charge of EPA’s criminal enforcement program in Ohio. “Today's sentence reinforces EPA's commitment to work with its law enforcement partners to pursue egregious environmental crimes and the individuals who commit them.”


“Today’s sentencing concludes a successful investigation and prosecution of the multiple discharges into waters of the state, which violated the federal Clean Water Act,” said Ohio EPA Director Craig W. Butler. “We will continue to work with our partners at the local, state and federal agencies to make sure that public health and the environment is protected and responsible parties are held accountable.”


Boylen was a driver employed by an Ohio-based trucking company. Boylen’s job was to load wastewater generated from corporate facilities into a tanker truck and to drive the wastewater to a designated facility located in Pennsylvania for proper disposal. The wastewater contained surfactants capable of killing vegetation and fish, according to court documents.


Instead of delivering the wastewater to Pennsylvania, Boylen drove the tanker truck to remote locations in Tuscarawas County and central-eastern Ohio and emptied the wastewater containing surfactants into waters of the United States, according to court documents.


Boylen is charged with dumping the wastewater into two different tributaries of the Tuscarawas River, a wetland adjacent to the Tuscarawas River, and the Beach City Reservoir, on numerous occasions between April 18 and May 4, 2016.


White foam flowed down tributaries and streams as a result of Boylen’s actions. In one instance, the foam traveled four miles downstream from the location where the tanker truck was emptied. Vegetation was killed at all the locations. Approximately 709 fish were killed in one of the tributaries, and collectively, approximately 3,231 minnows, crayfish, frogs, and tadpoles were killed, according to court documents.


The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Brad J. Beeson. The case was investigated by the United States and Ohio Environmental Protection Agencies, the Ohio Attorney General’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation, the Stark County Sheriff’s Offices, the Tuscarawas County Sheriff’s Offices, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, and the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction.


Mike Tobin

Updated September 5, 2017