On Thursday, Dec. 12 a fast-approaching Mack truck cut through the early-morning hush of Route 212 in the Town of Saugerties, just a few minutes away from depositing another load of construction and demolition debris at Joe Karolys’ dump. But after 10 months of court-ordered inaction in enforcing the numerous stop-work orders issued to Karolys, this morning there was action.
Shivering and chanting on a cold and snowy Tuesday morning, a group of about 30 protestors confronted oncoming trucks laden with construction and demolition debris depositing their loads at 1446 Route 212, the home of Saugerties resident Joe Karolys.
The fate of three controversial construction and demolition waste dumping sites in Saugerties is now in the hands of a state Supreme Court judge.
After 18 hours of testimony in State Supreme Court since the hearings into whether a Temporary Restraining Order blocking the town of Saugerties from enforcing its anti-dumping laws should be lifted, Judge Richard Mott will hear final arguments at 2:40 p.m. Monday, November 4 at the Ulster County Courthouse.
What may be the final court session in Karolys matter has been set for Oct. 8.
Recusals and changes of venue have slowed down efforts to close several dumps in Saugerties. The dumps have been cited by the town for accepting material from outside the area and by the DEC following tests that revealed harmful contaminants.
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.