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For Release: Thursday, September 15, 2016

DEC Orders $700,000 Penalty for Illegal Mining and Solid Waste Violations at Furrows Road Property in Holtsville

A lengthy investigation into illegal sand mining and solid waste dumping at a property in Holtsville, town of Islip, has resulted in a $700,000 fine and an order to clean up the site, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos announced today.

"This was a classic 'scoop and fill' case. Illegal mining activity was followed quickly by illegal landfilling of solid waste," said Commissioner Seggos. "We succeeded in getting those responsible to take action for a full site restoration, and I applaud the work of our Environmental Conservation Officers and other agency staff who worked on this important action."

In July 2015, DEC was made aware of an illegal sand mining site being backfilled with fill of unknown origin. While DEC staff were unable to observe active mining or backfilling onsite, DEC's investigation determined that the owners of this commercially zoned property on Furrows Road violated a number of state Environmental Conservation Laws while conducting unauthorized mining and solid waste disposal activities.

Violations include:

  • Mining more than 1,000 tons or 750 cubic yards of minerals in a calendar year without a permit
  • Failure to submit a mined land use plan for the operation on a mine
  • Failure to submit a reclamation bond to ensure proper reclamation of the mine
  • Failure to pay mining fees for the operation of a mine
  • Using solid waste as backfill in a mined property without a permit or authorization

The respondents, the Joan Ciardullo Trust and Estate of Albert Ciardullo, signed an Order on Consent and are obligated to implement a Soil Characterization Work Plan approved by DEC, which will ultimately dictate the appropriate restoration and management of the site.

The DEC Order assessed a total penalty of $700,000, with a $100,000 payable penalty remitted at the time of signing of the Order. An additional sum of $250,000 is designated to be contributed to an Environmental Benefits Project. A total of $350,000 in penalties will be suspended, unless the respondents fail to implement the Consent Order.

A DEC Environmental Monitor will oversee the site characterization and remediation. DEC staff will also assess the ambient air quality to determine if air monitoring in the vicinity is warranted, and will visit the area in mid-September.

"The settlement addresses the seriousness of the violations and sends a clear signal to those who consider breaking New York State's environmental laws for personal gain-DEC is watching," said Commissioner Seggos.

Individuals who observe illegal environmental activities on Long Island are encouraged to call DEC's Division of Law Enforcement at (631) 444-0250 on weekdays during business hours, and 1-844-DEC-ECOS (1-844-332-3267) at all other times. For more information on DEC programs and regulations, please visit the Department's website.

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