A Tulsa construction company is responding to accusations it illegally dumped debris on protected federal wetlands.
The wetland area used to be mostly covered in water and now it is hard as a rock after Wagoner County Investigators say Crossland Construction illegally dumped debris there. The sheriff said there is no telling what could be under the dirt and rock. Broken pieces of concrete line a waterway and rebar can be seen poking out of the water and littering the ground.
The Wagoner County Sheriff's Office says it is the aftermath of nearly two years of illegal dumping by the construction company.
"My goal is to keep this county clean. Keep this county safe. And make sure that none of our waterways and none of our lakes are polluted," said Sheriff Chris Elliot.
Deputies say Dan Conley was arrested after giving the company permission to dump the debris. The construction company operates in 37 states across the country.
Sheriff Chris Elliott says part of the debris came from a Broken Arrow project but says the city of Broken Arrow followed the rules.
“We are talking about a large company who really ought to know what the laws are and rules are on disposal of the debris they generate on a routine basis," said Michael Freeman of the State of Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality.
Freeman says this is a violation of the Oklahoma Pollutants Discharge Elimination System Act which prohibits any dumping near water without a permit.
“We are not alleging that there was any chemical contamination present in what was dumped there. But what was damaging is that they were filling in this wetland area and by filling in the wetland it destroys the ecosystem there," said Freeman
Deputies say it doesn't appear Conley was receiving any compensation form the company.
"He was wanting them to dump it on there, so he could bail hay. So for more land," said Wagoner County Deputy Michelle Casady
Crossland Construction faces multiple felony and misdemeanor charges for the dumping. Crossland has issued a statement which can be read below.