Scotts Lawn Service Fined $160,000 for Intentionally Polluting Water
Coming just a month after Scotts Miracle Gro pleaded guilty in federal court to falsifying documents and selling bird seed tainted with pesticide, a the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection has fined a Pennsylvania branch of Scotts Lawn Service $160,000 for dumping its waste water directly into a stream.
In June of 2010 a Scotts employee built a syphon system to drain a tank of remaining weed killers, insecticides and synthetic chemical fertilizer. Approximately 1,000 gallons of the toxic material then flowed from a storm drain into a tributary of Thompson Run in Monroeville, Pa.
A Scotts spokesman told Pennsylvania media outlets that a single employee, Ronald F. Vargo, was responsible for the misdeed and said his employment has been terminated.
The DEP heard numerous complaints about the toxic dump from local tenants of a business park complained about a foul odor. Firefighters were called the scene to put up damns in the stream and to shut off the local sewer. Area buildings were evacuated.
On July 25 of 2011, Vargo entered a plea of no contest to unlawful conduct under the Clean Streams Law, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune Review. He will serve two years probation, pay a $2,500 fine and perform 40 hours of community service.