Good Question: Why Hasn’t Updyke Been Charged By ADEM or EPA?

Last week we told you about the trial for the man accused of poisoning the trees on Toomer’s Corner being delayed.

The judge in the case said the court wouldn’t be able to find an impartial jury in the case against Harvey Updyke at this time.  The trial was delayed until October 1, 2012.

Many of you are talking about the Updyke case.  WHNT News 19 viewer Roger Blansfield sent in this question:

“Why hasn’t Harvey Updyke been charged by the Alabama Department of Environmental Management or the Environmental Protection Agency?”

“He knowingly misused the herbicide on the trees in an area highly traveled by the public,” Blansfield went on to say.

WHNT News 19 worked to get answers on this.  First, we spoke with ADEM and they told us they really have nothing to do with the case.  It really falls under Alabama’s Department of Agriculture and Industries, which has been working with Auburn to monitor the situation as far as the type of chemical used and the effect it may have on groundwater.

The Ag Department can bring charges against Updyke, but will likely wait until the criminal case is over before they look into a civil case.

When we talked with the EPA, they said they decided to let the local authorities deal with it.  They pointed out some of their employees in the criminal investigation division have been working with Lee County prosecutors on the case.

Do you have a Good Question?  Send it to us.  We feature these every weeknight on WHNT News 19 at 6:30 p.m.



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