Pa. appeals court to rule on wastewater dumping case - Shale Reporter : Environment

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Pa. appeals court to rule on wastewater dumping case

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Posted: Wednesday, April 3, 2013 8:39 am

BEAVER, Pa. — An appellate court will now decide if a Greene County man who dumped wastewater in western Pennsylvania streams will have to serve time in jail.

Initially a county judge handed down probation as his sentence.

The Pennsylvania Attorney General’s office has asked the Pennsylvania Superior Court to order a resentencing for Robert Allan Shipman, 51, of New Freeport.

The Attorney General’s appeal in the case was one of more than 20 appeals three Superior Court judges heard Tuesday during a special two-day session in Beaver County.

Over a period of seven years, Shipman, through his business, Allan’s Waste Water Service, illegally dumped thousands of gallons of wastewater in different areas in Allegheny, Lawrence, Greene, Fayette, Washington and Westmoreland counties. Shipman also stole more than $250,000 from the businesses that paid him to dispose of the wastewater.

Shipman was initially indicted on 200 charges and pleaded guilty Feb. 9, 2012, to felony counts of theft by deception, receiving stolen property, tampering with public records or information, unlawful conduct, criminal conspiracy and a misdemeanor charge of pollution of waters.

State prosecutors said Shipman took waste -- including production water from a natural gas drilling operations, sludge from sewage treatment plants and grease water from restaurants -- and used a method called “cocktailing” to mix the waste with other waste that could be easily dumped.

Shipman charged the businesses for disposing of more wastewater for them than he actually did, prosecutors said.

Deputy Attorney General Amy Carnicella asked Greene County Judge Farley Toothman to impose a sentence of nine to 16 months in jail, which is within the standard sentence range for the most serious charge, theft by deception, according to a court motion filed by Carnicella.

Toothman sentenced Shipman to seven years’ probation along with ordering him to pay restitution and fines and do five hours of community service each week with a water conservation group during his probation.

According to an article in The (Uniontown) Herald-Standard, Toothman was “moved to tears” as he sentenced Shipman.

“A probationary sentence will have absolutely no deterrent effect and sends a clear message to the business community, including the oil and gas industry, that enforcement of environmental crimes is little more than a cost of doing business,” Carnicella’s motion said.

The Attorney General’s office asked Toothman to resentence Shipman. Toothman said he would not resentence Shipman and in a written support of that decision said, “It appears that the Commonwealth wants Shipman imprisoned, believing that jailing him will deter others from polluting our waterways. History proves this motive wrong and improper.”

Prosecutors then appealed the case to the Superior Court.

In that appeal, the Attorney General’s office said the “sentencing court’s orders and opinions relating to sentencing reflect a clear hostility toward the attorney for the Commonwealth and toward anyone charged with enforcing the environmental laws … .”

The Superior Court judges finish hearing arguments today in a total of 51 cases. They will make rulings in each of the cases and issue their written opinion.

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  • Fidel Clay posted at 5:50 am on Thu, Jul 16, 2015.

    Fidel Clay Posts: 82

    He was definitely aware of the law, but he still dumped such harmful material in the water. However, for complicated cases like this one needs to have access to the best lawyer. If you are facing legal complication due to immigration issues then you should hire an reputed immigration attorney Nassau County.

  • Christopher Adcock posted at 7:00 am on Sat, Jun 27, 2015.

    Christopher Adcock Posts: 71

    Probably he did not have any idea about the consequences of his action, which is why he made such a big mistake. He should have contacted a good bail bond agency like Express Bail Bonds for help. Now he has to appoint the best lawyer available to prove his innocence.

  • Fidel Clay posted at 8:19 am on Tue, Jun 23, 2015.

    Fidel Clay Posts: 82

    Before dumping this he should have thought twice, it is obvious that he has no idea about environmental law. Now he has to go through proceedings, for this he should immediately talk to a good lawyer and good NYC process server agency.

  • Christopher Adcock posted at 1:05 am on Mon, May 25, 2015.

    Christopher Adcock Posts: 71

    If he was not aware of the implication of his act then he should be spared. However, right now he needs to appoint a skilled lawyer for his case, if he goes online he can find plenty of such lawyers there. From attorneys to court reporters West Palm Beach everyone could be accessed online.

  • Fidel Clay posted at 5:58 am on Thu, May 21, 2015.

    Fidel Clay Posts: 82

    He did something which is harmful for the environment, so he deserves punishment in this case. But if he was not aware of the implications then he should be given the chance to prove his innocence. He can also hire a good lawyer for his case, these days you can find lawyers online, not just that but if you need a bail bond agency in Orlando, you can find that at

  • Christopher Adcock posted at 6:13 am on Tue, Mar 31, 2015.

    Christopher Adcock Posts: 71

    This dumping case issue could drag on for years unless they take some serious step now. However, for such cases they should hire attorneys who are aware of the environmental law. These days one can find such lawyers online, not just that but if you need an expert witness testimony service provider for a financial litigation issue then you can find him online as well.

  • Fidel Clay posted at 6:25 am on Mon, Mar 30, 2015.

    Fidel Clay Posts: 82

    Such issues do make people aware, now the man has to get the punishment he deserves for harming the environment. However, now one can access all sorts of lawyers online. For example, if you have been hurt in the workplace and you want to file a case to get compensation then you should hire attorney James Hoffman who is available online at

  • Fidel Clay posted at 7:38 am on Sat, Mar 21, 2015.

    Fidel Clay Posts: 82

    This issue is complicated and they have to appoint a skilled lawyer who has considerable experience in handling such environment related issues. These days most lawyers have online presence, so it becomes easier to find them, if you need a criminal defense attorney then you can find him online at

  • Christopher Adcock posted at 5:44 am on Wed, Feb 25, 2015.

    Christopher Adcock Posts: 71

    Such issues should be taken seriously, this case would get complicated if it is not handled properly. They should immediately appointing a skilled lawyer who has enough experience of handling such cases. No matter what legal complication you face you should always opt for the best lawyer, for instance, for divorce cases you should approach

  • Fidel Clay posted at 4:09 am on Sat, Feb 21, 2015.

    Fidel Clay Posts: 82

    They have to consider all aspects of the matter properly to be sure that they are issuing the right judgement here. However, the man can certainly take help of a lawyer to defend himself. These days most lawyers and law firms have online presence which makes it easier to approach them. If you need an accident attorney in St Petersburg, you can find him at