Apartment Complex Fined for Illegal Sewage Discharges:
DEP Files Complaint in State Superior Court
(02/128) TRENTON The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) received a state Superior Court order appointing a property manager of Taylor Apartments located in Franklin Township, Gloucester County, to take immediate actions to fix a malfunctioning septic system and prevent further illegal discharges of raw sewage onto the surrounding property. The DEP issued the 13-apartment complex a $38,500 penalty assessment for repeated violations of the Water Pollution Control Act.
"Discharging raw sewage is a public health hazard and this situation at Taylor Apartments is unacceptable, said DEP Commissioner Bradley M. Campbell. Court action was necessary to ensure that this reoccurring problem at the apartment complex immediately ceases. The discharge violations persisted despite repeated inspections by the DEP and numerous directives from the department to fix the failing septic system."
On January 9, 2002, the DEP was notified by the Gloucester County Health Department that the septic system at Taylor Apartments was overflowing. Follow-up inspections by the DEP on January 9, 10, 17 and in April and May of 2002 confirmed that the septic system was malfunctioning and experiencing overflows.
On June 14, 2002, the DEP issued a $38,500 fine to Michael Shuda, owner of the property and ordered him to cease the unpermitted discharges and apply for a required DEP permit. Additional inspections of the site were conducted in October 2002 and on 11/19/02 and 11/20/02 indicating that the system was still failing and resulting in discharges of raw sewage onto the ground surface.
On November 22, 2002, the state Division of Law and the DEP appeared before Judge Rafferty in Gloucester County Superior Court to obtain injunctive relief against Mr. Shuda and the property manager Mr. Martin Pavkovich.
On December 2, 2002, Judge Rafferty issued a court order appointing a property manager who is authorized to take all necessary actions to prevent further unpermitted sewage discharges, including pumping out the septic system on an interim basis to prevent overflows. In addition, the court required that a licensed engineer be hired to evaluate the septic system and prepare a report addressing the long-term solutions for proper wastewater treatment at the site. The property manager also must work with the DEP to ensure that all proper permits for the septic system are obtained.