These days, the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s got no shame cozying up to polluters. Head to Australia, though, and it’s a whole different game. Ever heard of Dib Hanna? Me neither, but apparently, he’s a notorious criminal in Sydney, Australia. His crime? Serial asbestos dumper. (And no, I’m not kidding.)
Hanna’s dumping spree has come to a halt after government authorities caught wind he was at it again. He’s faced fines in the past—like more than $200,000 in fines—for illegal dumping, but on Thursday, the Land and Environment Court of New South Wales sentenced him to three years in prison for crimes committed back in 2015 and 2016.
This includes no parole for two years and three months. He’s the first to be jailed under the state’s anti-dumping laws.
Hanna wasn’t just dumping material full of pollutants like asbestos, plastic, and pipe onto people’s lawns, though. He was deceiving at least some of his victims, by offering a topsoil service. So ya boy was getting paid (!!) while spreading around asbestos, a known carcinogen that can also cause respiratory issues.
In other instances, he was straight up abandoning waste on private property. In total, he dumped more than 500 tons of combined waste in 2015 and 2016.
Now, the government has given him 90 days to clean this shit up. On top of that, he’s got to pay the Environmental Protection Agency for its legal fees and publish newspaper ads about what he did. Talk about public shaming, man.
“It is an appropriate sentence for Hanna, who took advantage of innocent people for his own financial benefit,” said Environment Minister Gabrielle Upton, per The Sidney Morning Herald. “Illegal dumping, especially of asbestos waste, is a serious environmental crime and [New South Wales] has tough laws to prevent it.”
Seems like Australia’s got it figured out. We’ll have to hold our breath to see polluters get treated the same by our EPA here in the U.S. Sigh.