|Investigator: Over 30,000 gallons of sludge unaccounted for|
Friday, August 9, 2013
By K.A. WAGONER - Staff Writer
A Callaway man was indicted Monday on 18 charges related to the illegal dumping of raw sewage at three sites in Franklin County.
Matthew Scott Ferguson, 34, is charged with one felony count of destroying personal property belonging to a Callaway resident on Foothills Road.
Ferguson is also charged with five counts of disposing of sludge from a septic tank at a location not approved by the public works department, five counts of dumping sewage without proper treatment, five counts of failing to comply with a State Board of Health regulation, and two counts of disposing of refuse on property without written consent of the owner.
Ferguson is the owner and operator of A Plus Septic Service; however, the Virginia Department of Health has revoked his permit to operate a septic tank cleaning business, according to Capt. Marvin Woods with the Franklin County Department of Public Safety.
The charges stem from sludge being dumped in the parking area of a bank at Westlake and sewage being illegally dumped at a manure lagoon on Rock Ridge Road in Ferrum, according to Woods.
"He is only legally permitted to dump at the Henry County Public Service Authority treatment plant," Woods said. "Using Ferguson's receipts from May, June and July, there are still more than 30,000 gallons of sewage he has pumped from septic tanks that are unaccounted for."
These charges are in addition to 17 charges on which he was indicted in May, which include two felony counts of destroying property at New Hope United Methodist Church on Old Forge Road and behind the same Callaway residence on Foothills Road.
Those indictments also include dumping sewage on private property, two counts of disposing of sludge from a septic tank at a location not approved by the public works department, two counts of dumping sewage without proper treatment, and 10 counts of failing to obtain a sewage handling permit from the health department.
Ferguson's trial on the May indictments is set for Wednesday, Aug. 28 at 9 a.m. in Franklin County Circuit Court.
An indictment is not a finding of guilt. It is a determination by jurors that enough evidence exists to warrant a trial.
The Rocky Mount Police Department is working with public safety on this investigation. Anyone with information about illegal sewage dumping should contact public safety at 483-3091 or RMPD at 483-9275.