Woodstock suspicious of Saugerties contractor’s Shady dumping

The town of Woodstock is seeking state Department of Environmental Conservation help in identifying material Joe Karolys’ Saugerties-based construction-and-demolition disposal operation has hauled to a parcel on Church Road in Shady. Supervisor Bill McKenna said Building Inspector Ellen Casciaro discovered “a dozen loads of fill” deposited on the property. Karolys is apparently selling the fill to a customer there.

When town officials questioned Karolys about the fill’s source, he would only say it came from Kingston and has refused to cooperate, raising doubts the fill is free of contaminants.

Given Karolys’ history, the town became suspicious and contacted the state Department of Environmental Conservation to request an investigation. 


Karolys was stopped in December from using three properties in Saugerties near the Woodstock border as dumps for construction and demolition debris that came from the New York metropolitan area, after a long court battle in which he sought unsuccessfully to invalidate stop work orders issued by the Saugerties building inspector. In May, 2019, the state DEC raided Karolys’ Route 212 property and uncovered 39 alleged violations of clean water and solid waste disposal laws, and has issued its own requirement that Karolys desist from importing the material and that he clean the three properties. Tests found heavy metals and pesticides including DDT in materials dumped at the Route 212 site

“If [the fill] is clean and he would just be transparent about it, everyone would benefit and there wouldn’t be an issue,” said McKenna.

The supervisor is trying to raise awareness that Karolys may be seeking alternate locations since he was shut down in December.

The DEC did not confirm its involvement in time for publication.

There are 12 comments

  1. Your Drinking Water and Food

    How is this dude not in prison?? He should be put away for a couple of years so he can rethink his career and life choices. He seems committed to spreading toxic waste all over the region for personal gain.

  2. Mr. Reynolds

    I have lived on Hutchin Hill Rd in Shady for many years which is right up the road from where Mr. Karolys is working. I stopped by his job site and the work he is doing is no different than work going on at many properties in the area. Every day dump trucks (not Karolys) go up and down my road. I introduced myself to Karolys and be seems like a decent guy who does pretty nice work. What I can’t understand is why Mr. McKenna is not concerned with any of the many other trucks that go up and down the road every day. I understand Mr. Karolys has had alleged violations in the past, but they are all alleged. Is the town going to launch an investigation every time this man dumps a load of material, without any probable cause of wrongdoing? It just doesn’t make sense. If there were a problem, the landowner would be complaining, after all the same people have owned that property for 50 years.

  3. LANE

    While a lot of people will jump on the band wagon to bash Karolys, hear me out. I don’t know him very well, but I know who he keeps company with. One such person was Alfred Ostrander. AL spoke very highly of Joey. And anyone who is a friend of Al’s is a friend of mine and should be a friend of the whole community. If Alfred was still alive he would put an end to all of this nonsense. Anyone who knew him would agree. End of story.

  4. Robert E Walters

    Is it clean fill, or “construction & demolition,” because those are two different things. Watch what you publish Geddy, because it looks like your reporters are talking out of their posterior. Same goes for supervisor McKenna. Unlike all you loudmouths, I actually visited the Karolys sites on Rt. 212 and also Fel Qui. There was *NO* C&D whatsoever. I DID however find C&D at the (supposedly) closed Saugerties landfill site next door, where the town appears to be illegally dumping material into wetlands, mixing it with mulch, to level the site off for a future solar farm installation. If you ever bother to investigate, you will discover the same contractors illegally working C&D into those landfill wetlands, are the same families hollering about Karolys.

    1. Bill H

      Mr. Walters, if you really have visited these sites, and know anything about C&D material, then you have zero credibility arguing that there “was *NO* C&D whatsoever.” Heck, Karolys himself did not make that claim when he sat in court for over a year’s worth of hearings. He merely argued that taking C&D material from out of town is ALSO happening elsewhere in town (and that he is being unfairly persecuted). You also argue it is a question of whether it WAS there. It’s STILL there, which is why we can all see for ourselves instead of believing nonsensical claims like yours. Drive up Goat Hill Road, look to the right and tell us that the shocking mountain of brick, concrete, asphalt, etc., that is in plain sight is “clean fill.” Also, we know that, on a number of occasions, the trucks that were stopped on their way to Karolys’s property on Rt 212 where carrying C&D material from sites in New York City. Unlike you, in court Karolys did NOT argue that the material was C&D material, or that the material was not coming from out of town. You want us to disbelieve the facts of the court proceedings, disbelieve our own eyes, disbelieve a very reputable town building inspector, disbelieve the results of New York State Department of Environmental Conservation soil tests, etc.? Come on, man. Absolute denials like yours are the very reason why the town of Woodstock should be skeptical.

    2. Sean Mullady

      Mr. Walters, I do not know the date on which you visited the 212 site but from my first hand observations:

      – It is currently visually obvious from from Rt 212 that there are bricks and concrete chunks in his piles. Moreso on the Goat Hill site, which includes asphalt.
      – Waste/Offal concrete and bricks from demolished structures is C&D (Construction and Demolition) material.
      – Asphalt is not C&D material.
      – Mr. Karolys *was* permitted to accept C&D material from Ulster and Dutchess Cty…but not south of those counties.
      – Trucks from Long Island City, Jamaica, and Brentwood delivered dumping material in the early AM after having sat at the Speedway after their trip up the Thruway.
      – NYS DEC issued many corrective orders to Mr Karolys’ operation since 2016
      – NYS DEC found the Karolys sites over-limit for dangerous materials such as various benzo compounds, “chrysene, indendo(1,2,3-C,D) pyrene…lindane, DDE and the decades-banned DDT” (look them up for their dangers to fauna including humans)
      – Mr Karolys was found operating outside of his permitted operation. Saugerties issued a Stop Order, re-affirmed in December by the county court)
      – E.G., As testified in court (Did you go? I did), Mr Karolys has dumped over 75,000 and 35,000 yards of material on the no-permit, private, not-zoned-for-dumping Goat Hill & Fel Qui sites (respectively).
      – As testified in court, the NYS maximum permitted dumping for *permitted* operations is only 5,000yards of material.

      And I can go on.

      Mr Karolys is not a good neighbor to have in the area, nor is his business a benefit to the Ulster County community.

  5. Jaymes Nohns

    Whether or not Mr. Karolys is a nice guy or not is irrelevant. The Town of Saugerties already has a place for C&D waste and debris, it’s called the transfer station. No one should be starting a business for dumping anything, although this seems to be common in this town(hence my neighbor having an illegal very large junkyard, without a permit) especially taking debris from out of town. I’m pretty sure we have more than enough debris here, rather than finding places all over the country to dump. He has been told to stop…this loophole game he is playing shows his character and compassion for his neighbors…..which appears to be non-existent.

  6. Dottie FAUCI

    Mr. Walters, you are wrong. I operate a business in the very near vicinity of Karolys’ Route 212 site, and he has lots of C&D material. The trucks are not the problem. The problem is Karolys has been receiving contaminated materials for 3 YEARS!!! It’s documented with testing performed by NYS DEC and Ulster County Health Dept – with both agencies issuing their own stop work orders, but he continued. Until NYS Supreme court ORDERED him to stop. Recently he’s been trucking materials out of his Route 212 property – what doesn’t he understand about the words STOP WORK??!!

  7. Frank K.

    Someone must have been telling lies about Joseph K., for without having done anything wrong he was arrested one fine morning…

  8. Ralph

    Dottie Fauci operates ROTHE WELDING. The Rothes are the people Karolys bought his property from and they are the ones that have been trying to stop his progress there from day one. Of course Dottie is going to side with them, she works with and rents the shop from the Rothes. This woman has no experience with C&D material. She is an office bookkeeper. I live right up the Road and see Karolys’s trucks come in and out all of the time, that doesn’t mean he’s doing anything wrong. He operates a backhoe and bulldozer service and that property is zoned as such. I’ve been living here for a long time, many of the residents have had water treatment systems for many years before Karolys was around. This is due to contamination from the Shader Septic dump on Goat Hill Rd and from the Woodstock Town Landfill off of Goat Hill Rd. Karolys’s property was formerly owned by Ray ROTHE who operated a sawmill, motorcycle shop, trucking business along with a plethora of other things over the years.

    1. Dottie FAUCI

      Ralph, most of your comments are wrong!! Karolys bought his property from Selena Rothe, Ray Rothe Sr’s widow. Rothe Welding had rented her garage several years ago – not currently, and have NEVER worked for Ray or Selena. As I may have no experience with C&D material, I do know what it looks like, and I do know when you are told to stop work from a legal authority, YOU MUST STOP!! Karolys has caused all his problems for himself. He thinks he’s above the law and can do whatever he wants. HE CAN’T! And I’ll have you know, I’m not an office bookkeeper – I’M A LEGITIMATE BUSINESS OWNER with a partner and employees. I’ve been here for almost 35 years, 13 of which we have owned Rothe Welding. The town and residents weren’t trying to stop progress, we were trying to stop dangerous road hazards caused by the trucks, illegal activity and contamination of our neighborhood. He has not performed any excavating or bulldozing work since he started receiving illegal materials. He just moves stuff from one location to another – without proper authority.

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