- Special Sections
- Public Notices
The investigation into an estimated 1,500 gallons of raw sewage dumped into the ravine off Wildcat Road earlier this month is ongoing and now involves state and federal agencies.
Det. Bryan Taylor of the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office confirmed that he is now working with state and federal authorities, and that he has interviewed suspects in the case.
The dumping allegedly took place Dec. 3 on the gravel portion of Wildcat Road, just outside of Tyrone. A witness reportedly saw a truck used to pump septic tanks emptying its load into the ravine and called the police.
When deputies arrived the truck was still there and appeared to have dumped approximately 1,500 of its 2,000-gallon load into the ravine, which includes a creek that empties directly into the Kentucky River.
No arrests had been made in the case as of Tuesday, Taylor said.
“Sometimes the wheels of justice turn slowly,” he said. “We’re looking for an outcome that will be better than if those involved were immediately charged that night.”
Had those involved been charged at the scene, the worst charge they would have faced would be criminal littering, which would be a state charge.
“I couldn’t have even arrested them for that,” Taylor said. “That would have been a pre-payable citation … like a speeding ticket.”
There is also a local ordinance that prohibits dumping sewage, but it is expected that if charges are leveled against the suspects from the federal level, those charges would have much more severe consequences.
The septic tank truck is owned by Ken Lawson of KPL Septic Service in Versailles. Lawson was at the scene the night of the incident, but insisted he knew nothing about why the men driving the truck would dump sewage over the steep bank off Wildcat Road, an area long used by illegal dumpers that was cleaned up earlier this year.
The two men in the truck have not been identified by law enforcement, but one is believed to be from Tyrone and the other from Versailles.
Lawson’s statewide septic pumping permit was suspended immediately following the incident, according to Tim Wright, interim director of the Anderson County Department of Health.
The sewage was cleaned up the following day using water to flush the sewage into the creek, where a large vacuum truck equipped with a hose sucked it up as it flowed toward the river.
The cleanup costs were unknown at the time, but an official with the Kentucky Department for Environmental Protection said those found liable for dumping it can be forced to reimburse the state for those costs.
The incident sparked considerable anger among local officials and nearby residents, and was scheduled to be discussed during Tuesday night’s meeting of the Anderson County Fiscal Court.