New Jersey Waste Company Fined $570,000 for Dumping in New York

UTICA, New York, December 20, 2011 (ENS) – Lieze Associates, dba Eagle Recycling, of New Jersey, was sentenced Monday in federal district court in Utica, after the company pleaded guilty in April to conspiring to violate the Clean Water Act and to defrauding the United States.

Eagle Recycling officials pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Hurd to one criminal felony count for conspiring to violate the Clean Water Act’s prohibition on filling wetlands and committing wire fraud to conduct that filling.

The company was sentenced to pay a $500,000 criminal fine and more than $70,000 in restitution and cleanup costs, said the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of New York and the Department of Justice Environment and Natural Resources Division.

The judge also imposed three years corporate probation on the company and ordered that its recycling facility formulate, fund and implement an environmental compliance plan to prevent future environmental violations at their North Bergen, New Jersey operation.

Cosntruction and demolition debris (Photo credit unknown)

According to documents filed with the court, Eagle Recycling and other co-conspirators engaged in a multi-year scheme to illegally dump 8,100 tons of pulverized construction and demolition debris that was processed at Eagle Recycling’s North Bergen solid waste management facility and then transported to a farmer’s property in Frankfort, New York.

Eagle Recycling and other conspirators then concealed the illegal dumping by fabricating a New York State Department of Environmental Conservation permit and forging the name of a DEC official on the fraudulent permit.

Eagle Recycling admitted in the plea agreement that once DEC and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency learned of the illegal dumping, the company began a systematic pattern of document concealment, alteration and destruction, including destroying documents during the execution of a federal search warrant, secreting documents responsive to grand jury subpoenas, falsifying certifications submitted to the grand jury, and falsifying and submitting environmental sampling to the EPA.

This case was investigated by criminal investigators with the New York State Environmental Conservation Police, Bureau of Environmental Crimes; special agents from the EPA’s Criminal Investigation Division and the Internal Revenue Service; and investigators from the New Jersey State Police Office of Business Integrity Unit, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and the Ohio Department of Environmental Protection.

“This investigation underscores the extent that environmental polluters will go to avoid New York and federal environmental laws,” said New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens. This long term investigation, first started in 2006, highlights the complexity of the crime and propensity of the criminal actors to cross state lines to help cover their actions.”

Martens said, “It was only through the cooperative investigation by the New York State Environmental Conservation Police, Bureau of Environmental Crimes, EPA, US Attorney’s office and the New Jersey State Police that this criminal enterprise was uncovered and further environmental damage avoided.”

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