CHRISTIE ADMINISTRATION TAKES ACTION AGAINST UNREGISTERED WASTE HAULERS CHARGED WITH ILLEGALLY DUMPING IN NEWARK
DEP ISSUES $135,000 IN FINES AGAINST HJ TRUCKING OF BLOOMFIELD
(14/P78) TRENTON – The Christie Administration has taken action against an unregistered waste hauler alleged to have dumped piles of asphalt and other construction and demolition debris on city-owned property in Newark, Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Bob Martin announced today.
The DEP this week issued an Administrative Order and Notice of Civil Administrative Penalty Assessment to address three violations, totaling $135,000 in penalties against HJ Trucking, an unregistered waste hauler in Bloomfield.
“This type of activity, which negatively impacts the environment and the quality of life, especially in our urban areas and overburdened communities, cannot be tolerated in our state,’’ said Commissioner Martin. “The Christie Administration takes such egregious disregard of state laws and our environment very seriously. Offending parties will be held accountable for their actions.”
On July 2, the DEP’s Compliance and Enforcement Division and the Newark Police Department received complaints from the city of Newark about illegal solid waste dumping that had occurred in the vicinity of 411 Wilson Avenue. Newark police who responded to the scene encountered a dump truck attempting to deposit a load of dirt, gravel and other construction debris, according to police. The driver of the truck, Hector Quinatoa, identified himself as owner of HJ Trucking, but was not licensed to drive as a commercial waste hauler. He was arrested at the scene.
The DEP’s enforcement team subsequently documented debris piles up to four-feet high containing broken pieces of asphalt, concrete and related construction and demolition debris.
The respondents identified in the DEP’s enforcement action include Hector Quinatoa, Jorge Quinatoa and Armando Andredes Itas of HJ Trucking. The company was fined a maximum penalty of $50,000 for failing to deposit solid waste at an approved facility and a maximum of $50,000 for operating a solid waste facility without a permit. Another $35,000 fine was levied for transportation of solid waste materials without an approved transporter registration.
"This enforcement action echoes our statewide efforts to crack down on illegal dumping," said John Giordano, Assistant Commissioner for Compliance and Enforcement. "Whether it be in cities such as Newark or in our state parks and forests, we will not back down to persons who choose to violate our environmental laws. We will aggressively pursue enforcement action to preserve a level playing field, while protecting the public’s health, safety, and welfare."
“Urban places like Newark are often sites for the illegal dumping of hazardous and nonhazardous materials,” said Assemblywoman L. Grace Spencer, who represents the community where the dumping occurred. “Newark and other municipalities are fighting to stop it and to hold those individuals responsible. The recent actions on the part of the City of Newark and the Department of Environmental Protection to investigate and eventually prosecute the individuals in this case sends a clear message that neither Newark or any city in New Jersey shall be dumped on.”
The fines against HJ Trucking continue an aggressive response by the DEP to rid communities of similar illegal debris and dirt piles. Last November, DEP issued $2.6 million in penalties against T. Fiore Recycling Corp., T. Fiore Demolition Inc. and Theodore Fiore for large stockpiles of illegally dumped construction and demolition debris in Newark, near the New Jersey Turnpike. That material is now being gradually cleaned up.
Previous DEP enforcement actions on dirt and debris piles have included securing the removal of approximately 50,000 cubic yards of fill dirt that a company placed illegally by Brook Industrial Park LLC within the flood zone of the Raritan River in Bound Brook, Somerset County.
For copies of the enforcement orders, visit: www.nj.gov/dep/docs/hjtruckingcorp-20140716.pdf