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Maine v. McLaughlin

ELR Citation: 39 ELR 20202
Nos. No. 08-625, (Me., 08/18/2009)

Maine's highest court upheld the conviction entered against an individual hired to remove contamination stemming from an oil spill after a large piece of logging equipment caught on fire. Instead of cleaning up the site, the individual merely removed some of the contaminated soil and dumped it at a nearby site. The individual was convicted under state law for the intentional violation of an environmental protection law, here, a law governing the creation or operation of a "waste facility." The individual argued that he did not engage in an intentional violation of the environmental protection law because he did not establish, construct, alter, or operate a "waste facility." But by moving oil, contaminated soil, and debris to a different location and dumping it at a previously uncontaminated location, the individual created a waste facility as defined by the waste facility law and thus intentionally violated that law. The court also affirmed the individual's conviction for theft by deception.