Septic firm fined for dumping waste

WARM BEACH — Ronald Stansberry’s septic business took illegal dumping to a new low.

Stansberry, 62, last month admitted in court to unloading more than 6,000 gallons of human waste surreptitiously on a stranger’s property south of Stanwood.

Now the owner of Camano Septic is on the hook to pay restitution, pony up another $643 in legal penalties, and obtain proper permits before returning to any sewage-pumping work. If he doesn’t comply, he could face nearly a year in jail.

The state Attorney General’s Office said the Snohomish County District Court case was the first environmental crime it’s prosecuted in a decade. More such cases could be on the way.

“Polluters need to know they can be held criminally liable for breaking laws,” Attorney General Bob Ferguson said in a press release.

Stansberry’s crimes occurred between October and November of last year, court documents state. He pleaded guilty on June 5 to three counts of unlawful dumping of solid waste and one count of second-degree criminal trespassing. Unlawful dumping of solid waste is a gross misdemeanor carrying a maximum 364 days in jail and a $5,000 fine.

Stansberry told the court he previously dumped sewage at a facility in La Conner, until falling behind on payments. He thought he could get away with unloading it for free along rural Frank Waters Road.

The property owner later paid to remove sludge from his land. Restitution will be based on clean-up costs.

Noah Haglund: 425-339-3465; nhaglund@heraldnet.com.

More in Local News

Herald photos of the week

A weekly collection of The Herald’s best images by staff photographers and… Continue reading

No easy exit from Smokey Point shopping complex

There’s just no easy exit on this one. A reader called in… Continue reading

Lynnwood, Marysville, Sultan consider ban on safe injection sites

If approved, they would join Lake Stevens and Snohomish County, which have temporary bans.

City Council OKs initial funding for Smith Avenue parking lot

The site of the former Smith Street Mill is being developed in anticipation of light rail.

Single fingerprint on robbery note leads to arrest

The holdup occurred at a U.S. Bank branch in Lynnwood in June.

Two windsurfers rescued from Port Susan near Kayak Point

The men had failed to return to shore during Sunday’s windstorm.

Yes to turn signal — eventually

Adding a right-turn signal at 112th St. and 7th Ave. is turning out to be a bit more complicated.

Mill Creek councilman no longer lives in city, panel finds

The Canvassing Board determined Sean Kelly is not eligible to vote there.

A Democrat and ex-Republican team up to end two-party politics

Brian Baird and Chris Vance unveil a new organization called Washington Independents.

Most Read