A.G. Schneiderman Announces Conviction Of "Dirtman" For Operating Illegal Landfill In NYC Watershed And Causing Pollution To A Source Of The NYC'S Drinking Water

A.G.'s Investigation Revealed Dirtman’s Actions Jeopardized Croton Falls Reservoir, Part Of The Drinking Water Supply System

Polluter Who Made Over $300K In Profits For Operating Illegal Landfills Is Going To Jail

WHITE PLAINS – Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman announced today that Anthony Adinolfi (aka “Dirtman”) pleaded guilty to operating a large unpermitted construction and demolition debris landfill within the New York City Watershed, which provides drinking water to nearly one-half of the population of New York State every day. Adinolfi admitted to the top felony charge lodged against him and faces four months behind bars and five years probation at a future sentencing hearing.

From approximately January 2010 through December 2010, the defendant created an illegal landfill by dumping debris at a residential property located at 737 Croton Falls Road in the Town of Carmel, Putnam County. The fill included construction and demolition debris containing waste materials, including coal ash and slag, in violation of numerous environmental statutes. Some of the fill material eroded and was discharged into nearby New York State waters, including the Croton Falls Reservoir.  Coal ash and slag typically contain hazardous substances, some of which are classified as carcinogens.

“Jeopardizing New Yorkers' drinking water by dumping contaminated waste into illegal landfills is deplorable. There is no excuse for this kind of misconduct and this individual is going to jail for committing these crimes,” Attorney General Schneiderman said. “Our office will continue to prosecute environmental criminals who put the health and safety of New Yorkers at risk to make a profit.”

Environmental Conservation Law Article 27 and the underlying regulations provide that no person may construct or operate a solid waste management facility without first obtaining a permit from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation ("DEC"). Solid waste management facilities are also subject to strict operational and closure requirements to avoid the adverse impacts to public health and the environment associated with solid waste.

According to the felony complaint, filed November 29, 2011 in Carmel Town Court, Adinolfi, 52, of Mahopac, N.Y., agreed with private owners of two watershed properties that he would arrange for fill to be dumped on their property to fill in and grade steeply-sloped areas. Through 2010 and 2011, the defendant arranged for hundreds of truck-loads of fill to be dumped on these two properties – sometimes as much as 10-15 truck loads per day.

Waste composition analysis of multiple samples taken from the dumped debris at the fill site show that the samples contained coal ash and slag. Absent a permit, New York State environmental laws and regulations prohibit charging fees for dumping this type of debris. Adinolfi charged truck drivers $75 per truck load for dumping privileges. Bank records show that, in 2010 and 2011, Adinolfi, through his company Dirtman Enterprises Inc., earned over $300,000 from operating these unpermitted landfills.

A grand jury charged Adinolfi with several felony counts for violations of the New York State Environmental Conservation Law (“ECL”), including ECL § 71-2703(2) (for operating an unpermitted solid waste management facility, a class “E” Felony) and ECL § 71-1933(4)(a)(ii) (for causing storm water discharges without a permit, a class “E” Felony).

Adinolfi pleaded guilty today to the top charge – operating an unpermitted solid waste management facility – in Putnam County before State Supreme Court Justice Judge Robert A. Neary. In addition to four months in jail and five years probation, as part of his sentence, he will be required to pay a $7,500 fine. 

The Attorney General’s Office thanks the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation for its participation in this case.

Adinolfi is also the defendant in a civil lawsuit filed in Supreme Court, Putnam County, by the Attorney General's Office in October 2010 concerning his illegal operation of the landfill at 737 Croton Falls Road. The State obtained a preliminary injunction against Adinolfi and others, prohibiting them from unlawfully polluting the City of New York’s Croton Falls Reservoir. The lawsuit seeks to require Adinolfi and others to clean up the debris and waste, remediate the site, and pay civil penalties.

The criminal case is being prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Jason P. Garelick of the Environmental Crimes Unit of the Criminal Prosecutions Bureau, under the supervision of Bureau Chief Gail Heatherly and Deputy Bureau Chief Stephanie Swenton.

The investigation was conducted by Environmental Conservation Officer Keith Manners and Investigator Kevin Gilmartin of DEC, Division of Law Enforcement, Bureau of Environmental Crimes Investigation, under the supervision of Lt. John Fitzpatrick and Captain Rick Martin.

The Attorney General recognizes the diligent work of the DEC and OAG staff who developed the case, particularly Steven Parisio, DEC, Regional Solid Waste Geologist, and John Serrapica, OAG, Supervising Investigator and Forensic Accountant.