A Utah County man has been fined $500 for dumping 1,000 pounds of raspberry gelatin dessert into a storm drain.
Evan D. Hansen was charged with violating the state's Water Pollution Control Act following a Sept. 5 contest in which participants attempted to perform the most outrageous stunts to win $5,000 from a local radio station.Hansen won by cutting the roof from a station wagon, filling it with raspberry gelatin and topping it with whipped cream. He then dressed in a white tuxedo, submerged himself in the gelatin and drove the car in a parking lot.
Problems occurred when he attempted to dispose of the waste gelatin. Hansen said he hired a waste disposal company to remove the gelatin from his car, but their pump clogged. So he dumped it into a storm drain that empties into Big Cottonwood Creek.
"I knew it was biodegradable and figured the rain would take care of it," said Hansen. "I'm sure there was absolutely no damage."
Kent Miner, director of water quality and hazardous waste for the Salt Lake City-County Health Department, said the environmental consequences of the illegal discharge were minor, but the law mandates a fine for the unauthorized release of wastes into a stream. The $500 penalty is the lowest allowed for this type of incident.
"If we could convince everyone to stop polluting, we'd solve our water quality problems," he said.