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On Earth Day, Attorney General Yost Applauds His Environmental Team’s Success Thus Far in 2024


(COLUMBUS, Ohio) — Mention the Ohio Attorney General’s Office, and Ohio residents probably think about its efforts to protect consumers, combat human trafficking or investigate crime. But the office also plays a crucial role in safeguarding the state’s environment. 

Today, in honor of the global observance of Earth Day, Attorney General Dave Yost is spotlighting the accomplishments of his Environmental Enforcement Section so far in 2024.

“Earth Day serves as a powerful reminder of our duty to help preserve the planet for future generations,” Yost said. “I’m proud of my environmental team’s diligence in protecting Ohio’s natural resources so that our air, water, and land remain safe for all.”

In the first 3½ months of the year, the team settled a high-profile construction and demolition debris case, sent two polluters to jail, and filed a complaint against another suspected polluter.

Here’s a timeline of those cases:

  • FEB. 16: A Lucas County judge sentences a Toledo couple to three months in jail, followed by six months at a correctional drug-treatment facility, for illegally transporting and dumping scrap tires. In 2023, Yost charged Chad Gatter and Amanda Wagner with unlawfully hauling more than 2,000 scrap tires from Toledo tire stores without proper authorization from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). They then illegally dumped the tires in their backyard. Complaints from neighbors prompted an investigation by the city of Toledo, EPA’s Office of Special Investigations and the Ohio Attorney General’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation, eventually leading to criminal charges.
  • MARCH 21: Baumann’s Recycling Center agrees to pay $1.5 million to settle a lawsuit centered on an allegedly illegal landfill operated by the company for nearly a decade. Yost sued Baumann’s after an investigation by the Ohio EPA found that the Garfield Heights company wasn’t properly handling construction and demolition debris. Instead, it allegedly had been operating an unlicensed landfill for many years, illegally amassing nearly 200,000 cubic yards of waste and creating environmental and public-health hazards that threatened area communities.
  • MARCH 25: Yost files a complaint seeking to force Austin Master Services, an oil- and gas-waste- services company, to immediately stop illegally storing excessive quantities of brine and drilling waste at its facility in Martins Ferry. The lawsuit accuses the company of accumulating brine and other dangerous waste materials at volumes exceeding those allowed under its permit with the Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management, part of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. 
Last year on Earth Day, Yost’s environmental team launched “Shine a Light on Dumpers,” a multipronged initiative to expose criminals who use their yard – or someone else’s property – as a garbage can. The initiative consists of training, education, legal guidance, technical equipment, and investigative and prosecutorial assistance.
Law enforcement may request investigative assistance with suspected illegal open dumping of solid wastes – including scrap tires, demolition debris or other materials – by calling 1-800-348-3248 or emailing

Dominic Binkley: 614-728-4127

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