Plant Diesel Hit With Fines After Spill

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT)- "I just made one of those fast, two second decisions, and it hurts."

Those were the words of Dennis McClanahan, the owner of Plant Diesel in Brookland, after walking out of a Jonesboro courtroom Tuesday morning.

This comes after one of his trucks got a rear tire off the road in April and several thousand gallons of bio-diesel bi-product were dumped into a field just outside of Brookland.

"I believe that I made a mistake. I believe that I was excited and under pressure, and I made a mistake," said McClanahan.

That mistake would end up costing McClanhan more than $3,500 in the end, a fine that environmental officers feel was necessary to get the point across.

"I think it was a fair and equitable sentence that the judge gave Mr. McClanahan, I really do," said Environmental Officer George Johnson.

However, McClanahan's attorney feels the whole thing was blown out of proportion and some information was misconstrued.

"The documentation which has been submitted to the court demonstrates that the materials that were released are non-hazardous," said Chad Oldham.

And since the spill the majority has been cleaned up, even if at a pace slower than the court would have expected.

"We do want folks to know that every effort has been made to clean the spill, contain the spill, and it's about 85-percent cleaned up, as of this date," said Oldham.

And as the judge makes a final ruling in the case, local environmental officers make this note on the issue of illegal dumping of any sort.

"We are here for compliance. We just want you to comply with the regulations, and do properly. It's not about the fines. That's not why we are here. It's a last resort," said Johnson.

McClanahan was given until July 9th to get the remainder of the spill cleaned up.   If not done so he could be held in contempt of court.

Off-camera McClanahan told us that he is unsure if he will be able to continue his business at this time, but only time will tell.

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