ANCRAM–Though it was supposed to be hauled away by now, Salvatore Cascino’s illegally dumped debris, nine piles of it amounting to about 270 yards, is still at the gravel mine owned by Double D Development, where the material was discovered this spring.
But state Department of Environmental Conservation officials are keeping close tabs on the piles, and the mine owners have been told to remove the material or face the consequences.
Back in June, Mr. Cascino, a resident of Larchmont, and his company, Bronx County Recycling, a waste hauling business, were indicted by the state Attorney General’s Office on three felony counts for filing false documents with the state to hide illegal disposal of solid waste. The indictment was the second for Mr. Cascino, who was also indicted by the AG in April for the reckless operation of an unpermitted landfill on state Route 9G in Clermont.
At the time of the April indictment, the attorney general filed a motion to force Mr. Cascino to comply with an earlier ruling, called a consent decree, which prohibited him from dumping any more solid waste at his 300-acre property in Copake, known as Copake Valley Farm. The DEC found that Mr. Cascino had continued to dump there in violation of the decree and the DEC also found that the stuff he dumped contained low levels of friable asbestos, which is regulated by the DEC as a hazardous air pollutant. The pending motion seeks an order to make Mr. Cascino clean up the waste under DEC supervision.
At the time of June indictment, The Columbia Paper also reported that DEC personnel found that tractor trailer truck loads of off-site materials had been dumped by Mr. Cascino at Double D Development’s inactive gravel mine on Route 82 in Ancram, formerly known as the Bryant Mine.
Hauling in and dumping materials violates Double D’s state permit.
Mine owners Joel Friedberg and Daniel Amicucci had worked out a deal with Mr. Cascino to bring in the “free fill” they erroneously thought they could use to reclaim the land, according to DEC Investigator Jesse Paluch, who told The Columbia Paper in June, that after the Cascino trucks dropped off their loads, they would pick up loads of sand, that Mr. Cascino purchased, to take back to the Bronx.
Investigator Paluch said back in June that four loads were unrecognizable, pulverized construction and demolition (c+d) debris and five of the loads were made up of bricks, concrete blocks, some metal and wood. The investigator took samples of the materials for testing.
On July 29 Mr. Friedberg signed a DEC consent order that required the Double D mine owners to remove the nine piles and pay a $5,000 fine. The owners paid $2,500 and the remaining $2,500 was suspended as long as the material was removed by September 1.
According to Inv. Paluch the materials remained at the mine upon his inspection September 2.
The investigator said that the mine owners were trying to get Mr. Cascino to take the material he dumped away, but that had not happened.
As far as the results of the tests performed on the material, Inv. Paluch said this week, that the results were negative for asbestos, which had been a primary concern.
Test results for heavy metal concentrations were within legal limits and though there was hit for petroleum, the investigator said the sample mix contained a shock absorber, which would account for that.
Inv. Paluch said from his visual examination, he could see there was a small percentage of “not exempt” or not acceptable c+d material, such as wood, plastic, metal or rubber.
Had the results turned up any hazardous materials, Mr. Cascino could have been held legally responsible.
Inv. Paluch said he had contacted DEC’s legal department about the debris piles and been told that Mr. Amicucci had been contacted within the past couple of days and allowed another week or two to coordinate the removal. They also have to provide the DEC with receipts indicating where the material went.
If the mine owners still fail to comply they will likely be forced to pay the remaining $2,500 of the initial fine, could have their mining permit revoked and might have to pay a contractor enlisted by DEC to remove the debris.
Contacted by phone Wednesday, Mr. Amicucci said he is in the process of arranging to have the materials removed, but he did not yet know who might be taking the debris away.