DEP ISSUES $712,500 IN PENALTIES AGAINST FIRMS THAT OPERATED ILLEGAL WASTE TRANSFER-STATIONS AND
MARKETED MATERIAL AS CLEAN FILL
(19/P040) TRENTON – The Department of Environmental Protection has issued a total $712,500 in penalties against two waste-transportation companies for setting up illegal solid-waste transfer stations in Sparta, Sussex County, and marketing their materials as clean fill, some of which ended up at residential properties, Commissioner Catherine R. McCabe announced today.
The DEP issued an Administrative Orders and Notices of Civil Penalty Assessment in the amount of $527,500 to Sinai Trucking LLC, its owner, Angel A. Bravo-Gomez and its president, Anthony Gomez. The DEP issued a separate Administrative Order and Notice of Civil Penalty Assessment in the amount of $185,000 to Keila Transport LLC and its owner, Gabriel Campoverde.
Both firms list Newark as their principal business address but operated illegal solid-waste transfer stations at the same location on Houses Corner Road in Sparta.
“These firms benefitted financially by being paid to accept construction materials and other solid waste then deliberately misled customers by claiming it was clean fill,” Commissioner McCabe said. “This behavior will not be tolerated and, in addition to penalties, the DEP is ordering the companies to remove the contaminated fill and provide refunds to customers.”
During an extensive investigation, the DEP determined that Sinai Trucking accepted more than 50,000 cubic yards of construction waste, demolition debris and other solid waste at the Houses Corner Road site. Materials that Sinai Trucking accepted included soil, concrete, wood, tile, plastic sheeting wastes, brick, block and asphalt.
The company transported these materials to at least five residential properties in Fredon, Montague and Lafayette, all in Sussex County, and possibly to other locations. The DEP conducted extensive interviews with property owners who observed the solid waste materials in the fill material provided by the company.
The DEP investigation further determined that Keila Transport also maintained a solid waste transfer operation at the same Houses Corner Road location as Sinai Trucking. The enforcement order maintains that Keila Transport accepted more than 50,000 cubic yards of construction waste and demolition debris and arranged to have this waste deposited at a residential location in Fredon, representing it as clean fill, and may have arranged to transfer these materials to other residential locations.
These materials included treated and untreated wood scrap, tree parts, tree stumps, brush, concrete, asphalt, bricks, blocks, masonry, plaster, wallboard, roofing materials, corrugated cardboard, plastic scrap, dirt, carpets and padding, glass, metals, non-asbestos building insulation and other miscellaneous construction- and demolition-related materials.
In addition, working in cooperation, with the DEP, the Kearny Police Department arrested Bravo-Gomez on April 4, charging him with second-degree theft and for passing bad checks.
“Due to recent crackdowns in illegal dumping in the New York City area and the economic advantages of fraudulently selling off waste material as clean fill, the DEP has stepped up its vigilance to ensure waste materials, often containing low-level contaminants, are not marketed and used as legitimate fill,” said Richelle Wormley, the DEP’s Acting Assistant Commissioner for Compliance and Enforcement.
To read the enforcement orders, visit www.nj.gov/dep/enforcement/