An environmental engineer testifying on behalf of C&D debris dump owner Joe Karolys in state Supreme Court Wednesday, Sept. 11 attempted to poke holes in state Department of Environmental Conservation test results that showed dangerous levels of toxic materials in the three dumpsites.
Trucks can continue to come on and off Joe Karolys’ three construction and demolition debris dumping sites in Saugerties until at least September 11 after state Supreme Court Judge Richard Mott adjourned an August 22 hearing in which the town was seeking to overturn the Temporary Restraining Order that prevents it from enforcing stop work orders at the sites.
In the third session of a state Supreme Court hearing on the matter of alleged illegal C&D material dumping, Saugerties resident Joe Karolys’ counsel argued on Monday, August 21 that samples of construction and demolition material on his client’s property taken by state Department of Environmental Conservation personnel indicating the presence of pesticides and heavy metals such as mercury were false, and that media attention vilifying his client as a “polluter” had irreparably damaged his business.
Saugerties resident Joe Karolys and his legal counsel asserted last week that the town’s anti-dumping laws were being selectively enforced. While the appeal is pending, the town can’t enforce a stop-work order that would prevent the dumps, which were cited in May by the DEC for violations of clean water and solid waste disposal laws, from accepting more material.
On August 2, less than a week before he was due in court to make the case to keep his controversial construction and demolition debris dumps open in the face of stop-work orders, Joe Karolys was arrested and charged with illegal dumping, town police said.
The owner/operator of several controversial construction and demolition dumps in Saugerties, which the town, the state Department of Environmental Conservation and, most recently, the Ulster County Department of Health have being trying to close for months, was arrested and charged with illegal dumping, Saugerties town police said. But according to Town Supervisor Fred Costello Jr., trucks bearing construction and demolition material are still coming on and off the property as of Tuesday, Aug. 6.
Among contaminants found in the six samples taken from the three properties, according to DEC documents, are heavy metals like mercury, lead and zinc; coal ash, coal and slag; and nine chemicals deemed to be “probable carcinogens,” including the banned-for-decades pesticide DDT.
Despite an order from the state Department of Conservation to shut down, neighbors say trucks keep coming in to Joe Karolys’ controversial construction and demolition debris dumps.
The state Department of Environmental Conservation on July 1 ordered controversial Saugerties dump owner Joe Karolys to “immediately begin removing all solid waste” from his three illegal C&D debris dumping sites.
After obtaining the proper warrants, state Department of Environmental Conservation officials finally got access last Friday morning to the Saugerties construction and demolition debris dump operated by Joe Karolys.