Largest takedown of illegal dumping offenders in New York historyStaff Writer | July 18, 2018
New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced the largest takedown of alleged illegal dumping offenders in state history.
Empire State The Operation TrashNet was successful
As the Operation TrashNet investigation progressed in 2017, DEC's Environmental Conservation Police Officers and Division of Materials Management experts teamed up with downstate district attorney's offices, New York State Police, State Department of Transportation staff, and local law enforcement agencies to launch an enforcement blitz on Long Island and in the Mid-Hudson Valley on the alleged illegal disposal of C&D debris and other solid waste violations.
Since early 2017, this collaboration has spearheaded dozens of undercover details and truck surveillance operations to uncover a number of crimes.
Actions taken during Operation TrashNet on Long Island and in the Mid-Hudson Valley are as follows:
- Over 550 total tickets issued and charges filed for various misdemeanors and other serious safety violations during enforcement actions
- More than 170 tickets issued for alleged unlawful disposal of solid waste
- More than 40 trucking companies allegedly identified
- 1 new illegal dumping sites uncovered
- 26 trucks seized and impounded - 53 search warrants executed
While a number of cases remain under investigation, additional operations to identify and pursue criminal offenders and illegal dumping sites are planned for the coming months.
As part of the operation, DEC environmental conservation officers and Suffolk County District Attorney Timothy D. Sini announced the arrests of 24 offenders who were connected to dozens of alleged illegal C&D debris and solid waste dumping cases on Long Island, some of whom face felony charges, including those involved with the soccer fields at Brentwood North Middle School.
The charges are merely allegations, and all defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.
Through Operation Pay Dirt, which was executed by the Suffolk County District Attorney's Office in partnership with the DEC as part of Operation TrashNet on Tuesday, July 17 on Long Island:
- 12 corporations are being charged with crimes
- 12 trucks used for alleged illegal dumping were seized
- Dozens of new alleged illegal dump sites were uncovered.
DEC works directly with local District Attorneys to secure cleanup of the illegal dump sites as part of the joint efforts to bring individuals and companies to justice.
To secure cleanups, sanctions can include jail time and fines for the responsible entities as well as seizure of trucks and other equipment.
The goal of these enforcement actions is to ensure these sites are cleaned up.
Currently, of the 81 new dumping sites uncovered:
- 52 sites are currently under investigation
- 21 sites are under administrative enforcement action requiring responsible parties to conduct cleanups
- 8 sites have been mitigated or clean-ups are currently underway. ■