ADEM fines local businessman over illegal dump sites

The fine from the Alabama Department of Environmental Management is for dumping of demolition debris from the University of North Alabama.

Posted: Jun. 13, 2018 3:53 PM
Updated: Jun. 13, 2018 4:55 PM

A Lauderdale County businessman is being fined by the Alabama Department of Environmental Management for illegally dumping debris.

ADEM officials said in 2017 three complaints were filed against Ronnie Gist of Gist Excavating for illegally dumping demolition debris from the University of North Alabama throughout Lauderdale County.

Gist did not want to speak with WAAY 31 on camera, but he did provide letters from ADEM and showed us pictures of the sites he cleaned up. Gist said he's been in business for more than 25 years and has never been fined or in trouble with ADEM.

According to ADEM officials, Gist is accused of dumping demolition debris at three locations along County Roads 8, 23, and 24. Gist said he didn't think he was doing anything wrong since one of the dumpsites was on his personal property.

Gist said when he got the letters from ADEM asking him to clean up the sites, he did. He even showed WAAY 31 pictures of one of the sites he cleaned up. He also showed landfill receipts where he had taken the debris after he removed it from the dumpsites. Gist said he is confused by this $15,000 dollar civil penalty because he thought everything was taken care of after he cleaned up the sites.

According to the order by ADEM, they say Gist is being fined because he did not comply with the standards for proper waste disposal. Gist said he plans to appeal the fine. Gist also said he hasn't gotten a letter from ADEM about his current $15,000 fine.

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