EIGHT MORE CHARGED IN DEP CRACKDOWN TO COMBAT ILLEGAL DUMPING ON STATE LANDS
“DON’T WASTE OUR OPEN SPACE” INITIATIVE HAS YIELDED 36 ENFORCEMENT ACTIONS THUS FAR
(15/P15) TRENTON – New Jersey State Park Police have charged another eight people in the Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) continuing crack down on illegal dumping in state parks and recreational lands, Commissioner Bob Martin announced today.
The DEP’s “Don’t Waste Our Open Space” campaign was launched in late March last year. Investigations of illegal dump sites on state properties by State Park Police, Division of Fish & Wildlife’s Conservation Officers and DEP’s Compliance & Enforcement personnel has resulted so far in 36 arrests or charges.
The program is a coordinated effort of a host of DEP programs, including Parks, Fish & Wildlife, Solid Waste, Water Resources, State Forestry Services and the Natural Lands Trust. All activities of this new effort are posted on www.stopdumping.nj.gov, a website that serves as a hub for the entire program.
“As we approach the one year mark of this important and productive initiative, we continue to seek out these illegal dumpers who have no regard for the environment, wildlife and people who enjoy the outdoors” Commissioner Martin said. “Those who are caught illegally dumping on our properties should know that their actions will have consequences.”
Recent enforcement actions for the illegal dumping initiative, all conducted by State Park Police, include:
- Andrew Carter, 38, of Shamong, was charged with illegal dumping and illegal transporting of solid waste after a dump site consisting of construction material, worksite debris and household trash was discovered off of Three Bridges Road in Wharton State Forest. Carter faces a maximum fine of $15,000. The case was investigated by State Park Police Detective Brian Calloway and Officer Thomas Liccione.
- Pawel Klos, 20, of Hamilton (Mercer County) was charged with illegal dumping after an investigation of a dump site consisting of construction debris in the Whitehead Road Parking Lot of D&R Canal State Park in Lawrence. Klos faces a maximum fine of $5,000. The case was investigated by State Park Police Detective Timothy Kasony.
- Dylan Nowakowski, 20, of Ledgewood, was charged with illegal dumping after disposing of construction and household debris on Waterloo Valley Road in Allamuchy State Park in Mount Olive. Nowakowski pled guilty and was ordered by Mount Olive Municipal Court to pay $1,466 in fines. State Park Police Detective Steven Franzone and Mike Flora, with the Morris County Solid Waste department, investigated the case.
- Drew Dash, 24, of Medford, was charged with disposal and transportation of solid waste after several bags of trash and personal belongings were found along an access road at Wharton State Forest in Shamong. Dash faces a maximum fine of $15,000. The case is being investigated by State Park Police Detective Calloway.
- James Cassady, 36, of Lumberton, was charged with illegal dumping after a Burlington County park ranger witnessed him dumping yard debris in Rancocas State Park. Cassady faces a $1,000 fine. State Park Police Detective Douglas Lemyre and Officer Sean Samson investigated the case.
- Dylan Scarpone, 20, of Stanhope, and Christopher Ederer, 53, were separately charged with illegal dumping on Waterloo Valley Road in Mount Olive Township. Both incidents were investigated by Detective Franzone and Flora. Both pled guilty in Mount Olive Court and were ordered to pay $283 in fines.
- Deanna Cottle, 43, of Browns Mills was charged with illegal dumping after being captured on surveillance photos dumping leaves on three separate occasions in the White’s Bog section of Brendan Byrne State Forest in Pemberton. Cottle pled guilty and was ordered to pay a $283 fine. Detectives Kasony and Chris Farrer from DEP’s Bureau of Solid Waste investigated.
The “Don’t Waste Our Open Space’’ campaign incorporates strict enforcement of illegal dumping practices, while raising awareness of the problem through outreach and education.
Strategically deployed motion-sensor cameras have been set up in select state parks and wildlife management areas to help nab violators. Information on arrests and charges filed in connection with illegal dumping will be posted on www.stopdumping.nj.gov.
The DEP is being aggressive in its pursuit of civil and criminal complaints against violators. Penalties for illegal dumping in state parks and in fish and wildlife areas will include criminal fines of up to $5,000 per violation and civil penalties of up to $1,500 per violation. In addition, the state also will seek much stiffer penalties for major violations through the Solid Waste Management Act, which authorizes the DEP and county health departments to initiate civil actions for illegal dumping violations.
Illegal dumping, which includes everything from unlawful disposal of construction debris and old TVs and computers to the dumping of car parts and tires-- and even entire vehicles -- has been a growing problem in the state’s vast natural holdings in all 21 counties in recent years.
Nearly all of the state’s more than 170 publicly owned tracts, including state parks, state forests, wildlife management areas, marinas, and natural lands and preserves, have been impacted by illegal dumping. These lands account for 813,000 acres of state-preserved open space.
For more information on state parks, forests and wildlife areas, visit: http://www.nj.gov/dep/parksandforests/ and http://www.nj.gov/dep/fgw/ or visit both on Facebook.