Landowner to Pay $2 Million
for Damaging Palisades Interstate Park
(05/23)TRENTON - Settling violations stemming from the
destruction of public parkland, the Department of Environmental
Protection (DEP) and the Palisades Interstate Park Commission
(PIPC) today announced that private landowner Andrew Krieger has
agreed to pay $2 million. In 2002, Krieger bulldozed more than
an acre of Palisades Interstate Park, Bergen County, which is
owned by the State of New Jersey and leased to the Palisades Interstate
"This settlement reflects DEP's commitment to protect parkland
for future generations of New Jersey residents to enjoy,"
said DEP Commissioner Bradley M. Campbell. "Krieger's expensive
mistake should deter others from demonstrating similar disrespect
for public property and the law."
"We will continue to work with DEP to address violations
of our environmental laws and to ensure that New Jersey receives
just compensation from those who damage our natural resources,"
said Attorney General Peter C. Harvey.
In February 2002, Andrew Krieger proposed to DEP a land exchange
that would have enabled him to develop the parkland that he subsequently
bulldozed. DEP advised Krieger on the land trade process, which
Krieger opted not to pursue. In the following three months, Krieger
and his employees cleared more than one acre of parkland and illegally
stored construction materials on state and county property.
Krieger, who owned property adjacent to Palisades Interstate
Park, destroyed trees and other vegetation, excavated approximately
one mile of trails, destroyed an old stone wall and disturbed
two small, intermittent streams located in the park.
DEP and PIPC sought compensatory and punitive damages from Krieger.
Krieger has agreed to settle charges filed against him by paying
$2 million and apologizing for damaging public parkland. Deputy
Attorney General Robert A. Marshall handled the State's civil
"In my 20 years of public land management I have never
seen a case as severe as this, where an adjacent property owner
took such a deliberate and willful action in damaging public park
property," said PIPC Superintendent Jim Hall. "Time
finally ran out for the tycoon tree terminator paying for his