Last updated: February 20. 2013 12:20AM - 219 Views

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WAYNESBURG— Prosecutors appealed the probation sentence given to a southwestern Pennsylvania man whose company dumped millions of gallons of wastewater from oil and gas well drilling and other sources into streams and mine shafts.

The state attorney general contends in a Superior Court appeal that a Greene County judge erred in June when he sentenced 51-year-old Robert Allan Shipman to seven years on probation instead of giving him a prison term.

Judge Farley Toothman ordered Shipman, formerly owner of Allan's Waste Water Service, to perform 1,750 hours of community service and to pay $257,000 in restitution plus a fine of $100,000. The judge also barred Shipman from ever working again in the wastewater disposal industry. Shipman's firm disposed of wastewater containing natural gas drilling byproducts, sewage sludge and restaurant grease.

Chief Deputy Attorney General James Barker said in the appeal that the sentence was unreasonable, did not fit the crime, and won't deter other polluters, the Observer-Reporter of Washington, Pa. (http://bit.ly/S1En1R ) reported.

Prosecutors had argued Shipman deserved a minimum sentence of nine to 16 months behind bars, based on state sentencing guidelines for the most serious theft charge he faced.

Shipman pleaded guilty earlier this year to counts including theft by deception, receiving stolen property, tampering with public records and conspiracy.

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