Dentist Fined $65,000 For Violating Clean Water Act, But It's Not What You Think

A Galveston dentist has been fined $65,000 for violating the Clean Water Act.

What, he didn't have his patients rinse-and-spit up to gummint standards? Is this more of that damn paperwork and regulations that is all but choking the entrepreneurial spirits of dentists all across America?

Well, no. Instead, the US Attorney's office says, the dentist told some contractors he didn't give a shit where they dumped the refuse from a homebuilding project on his place on Offats Bayou. So they dumped it in some federally protected wetlands.


"The court found that Scruggs admitted telling his contractor he frankly did not care about the wetland designation...but the government did," says the sassy release from  the DOJ.

"Fortunately, the violation did not harm or threaten human health or wildlife," it said, which sounds like a pretty big fine for something that affected (or didn't) 0.2 acres of wetlands.

But even that much fill could potentially be damaging, prosecutors said (Lead prosecutor's last name: Petty. Make of that what you will.)

More importantly, it turns out the dentist, Charles K. Scruggs, had done all this before, been fined $15,000, and went ahead and did it again. So this second violation, which occurred in 2006, resulted in the more impressive fine.

Seeing as he's probably rebuilding from Ike, we'll see if he gives a crap where he dumps stuff now. The feds will be watching, no doubt.

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Richard Connelly
Contact: Richard Connelly