Attorney General James and DEC Commissioner Seggos Sue 29 Companies for Illegal Dumping in Ulster County
Waste Haulers and Brokers Illegally Dumped More Than 3,000 Truckloads of Construction Waste from NYC at Site in Saugerties
NEW YORK – New York Attorney General Letitia James and Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos today announced a lawsuit against 29 waste haulers and brokers for illegally dumping waste at a site in Saugerties, Ulster County. The companies repeatedly violated state law by transporting more than 3,000 truckloads of construction and demolition (C&D) waste originating from the New York City metropolitan area to the site in Saugerties, which was only authorized to accept waste from Ulster and Dutchess counties. With this lawsuit, Attorney General James seeks full disgorgement of all revenues and profits gained from this illegal activity, and potentially millions of dollars in penalties.
“We have environmental and solid waste laws in New York for a reason: to protect our land, our water, and our people,” said Attorney General James. “By ignoring these laws and repeatedly dumping construction waste where they were not permitted, these 29 companies threatened our natural resources and risked health and safety of New Yorkers in Ulster County. My office remains committed to aggressively enforcing our environmental protection laws and holding those who violate them fully accountable.”
“Rather than bring their solid waste to local facilities that were authorized to accept it, Joseph Karolys and dozens of hauling accomplices chose instead to treat the waste illegally, dump it in violation of our stringent environmental laws, and then not address the consequences,” said DEC Commissioner Seggos. “DEC is working closely with the Attorney General to hold these polluters responsible and uphold our solid waste requirements that protect public health and the environment.”
In June 2020, Attorney General James and Commissioner Seggos filed a lawsuit against Joseph Karolys, the owner and operator of the Saugerties dump site, for repeatedly accepting C&D waste from the 29 haulers and brokers named in today’s lawsuit, in flagrant violation of New York’s solid waste and water pollution laws. In tandem with that action, the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) and DEC commenced an investigation into the various companies that brought waste to the Karolys site in Saugerties. The investigation revealed that over a period of three years, 29 waste transporters and waste brokers unlawfully caused over 3,000 loads — approximately 100,000 cubic yards — of C&D waste to be transported from multiple construction sites in New York City and Long Island to the site, which was not authorized to receive solid waste from outside Ulster and Dutchess counties.
C&D waste from highly urbanized areas like New York City is more likely to be contaminated with petroleum or hazardous substances than waste material from less urbanized areas. Despite the fact that there are sites and facilities in or near New York City where these companies could have lawfully delivered this waste, the haulers named in today’s lawsuit instead chose to deliver to the Karolys site, which is located about two to three hours north of the pick-up location. The suit alleges that their willingness to travel from the New York City metropolitan area to Saugerties just to dump these loads suggests they knew that Karolys was unlawfully accepting these materials at his site. Karolys also charged these companies a fee that was much lower than what any legitimate facility in the New York City area would charge, and the suit further alleges that as a result, the haulers knew that Karolys was running an illegal business.
For the wrongdoing alleged in the lawsuit, Attorney General James and Commissioner Seggos are seeking full disgorgement of all revenues, profits, and gains derived from the illegal activity, and millions of dollars in statutory penalties for violations of state law.
The 29 companies named in the suit, along with their owners and/or operators, are:
- AGP Industries LLC
- American Recycling Management LLC
- Atlas Roll-Off Corp.
- B&A Trucking Corp.
- DNA Transport, LLC
- Dynamic Environmental Contractors, Inc.
- E&E Commercial Corp.
- ECC Trucking Corp.
- Finest Materials LLC
- H&P Industries Inc.
- IEV Industries Corp.
- J & D Carrying & Construction Corp.
- J.B. Trucking of NY Inc.
- James DePietro Enterprises LLC
- JK Concrete Ready Mix Inc.
- JR’s Premium Trucking, Inc.
- K.D.E. Trucking Corp.
- La Americana Car Service, LLC d/b/a La Americana Trucking
- Logan Trucking, Inc.
- Modern Leasing, Inc.
- Northside Industries LLC
- P.J. Logistics, Inc.
- Richmond Construction Inc.
- River Transportation Services Inc.
- T. & R. Construction Corp.
- Tully Environmental Inc.
- Vigorous Industries Inc.
- Way Trucking Corp.
- Zevel Transfer LLC
This matter is being handled for DEC by Regional Attorney Ashley Johnson and Regional Materials Management Engineer David Pollock.
For OAG, this matter is being handled by Assistant Attorneys General Marie Chery-Sekhobo, Brendan McGrath, and Rachel Kish, and Affirmative Section Chief Morgan Costello, under the supervision of Environmental Protection Bureau Chief Lemuel M. Srolovic. The Environmental Protection Bureau is a part of the Division for Social Justice, which is led by Chief Deputy Attorney General Meghan Faux and overseen by First Deputy Attorney General Jennifer Levy.