A federal court in Utica, N.Y., sentenced Mazza & Sons Inc. and its owner Dominick Mazza, and property owner Cross Nicastro, with illegally dumping thousands of tons of asbestos-contaminated construction debris in upstate New York. Charges included conspiracy to violate the Clean Water Act and Superfund Statute, and to defraud the United States. Other charges included obstruction of justice and making false statements to law enforcement.
Mazza & Sons, a solid waste management and recycling facility transported the asbestos-contaminated debris to land owned by Cross Nicastro in Frankfort, N.Y. Representatives from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) estimate about 400 truckloads of debris was dumped at the site. The contaminated material was deposited on property adjacent to the Mohawk River, which posed a serious contamination hazard to wetlands and the waterway.
Asbestos is linked to the development of the deadly cancer mesothelioma. Mesothelioma usually affects the lining of the lungs or the abdomen, and occasionally the heart. There is no known cure for mesothelioma. About 10,000 people each year are diagnosed with mesothelioma, and more with related asbestos diseases.
According to an official news release from the DOJ regarding this case:
U.S. District Judge David N. Hurd sentenced Dominick Mazza to 51 months in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release, to pay a $75,000 criminal fine and $492,000 in restitution. In addition, Judge Hurd sentenced Mazza & Sons Inc., to pay a $100,000 criminal fine and $494,000 in restitution and cleanup costs, and imposed five years corporate probation. The court also ordered that Mazza & Sons’ recycling facility fund and implement an environmental compliance plan to prevent future environmental violations at their Tinton Falls, N.J., operation. The compliance plan is to be administered by a third party auditor. On Tuesday, Cross Nicastro was sentenced to 33 months in prison and three years of supervised release and to pay $492,494 in restitution and a $25,000 criminal fine.
According to the DOJ, the conspirators tried to conceal the illegal dumping by forging permits from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), and forged the name of a DEC official on the permit.
Source: U.S. Department of Justice