COPAKE—Salvatore Cascino, 71, of Larchmont will pay a $2,500 fine and has made an agreement with the state Department of Environmental Conservation to resolve December 18 charges related to illegal burning.
According to the order on consent, the agreement between Mr. Cascino and the DEC for how the matter will be settled, Encon Officer Peter Brinkerhoff witnessed the “open burning of wood pallets in a drainage ditch” at Mr. Cascino’s Copake Valley Farm property, along the east side of Route 22, December 18.
The case is of note because Mr. Cascino has a history of run-ins with local and state officials over dumping and other violations at his property.
In this case, the 100-foot-long “drainage ditch was filled with ash to a depth of one foot,” according to the document. In addition, the Copake Fire Department extinguished five piles of broken wood pallets. Each pile covered a four-by-six-foot area.
The document says that Mr. Cascino burned the wood pallets and the five piles of pallets resulting in violations of regulations for ash disposal, a solid waste violation, and burning materials in an open fire, an air quality violation.
Mr. Cascino waived his right to notice and hearing in the matter and entered into the agreement, which orders him to pay $2,500 to the DEC.
And within 14 days of January 20, when the order became effective, Mr. Cascino has to properly dispose of the burnt debris and submit receipts for the legal disposal of the burnt debris to the DEC. He also has to allow DEC officials access to the property so they can see if he has complied with the order.
According to the documents provided to The Columbia Paper by the DEC, Mr. Cascino has paid the fine and submitted a receipt for disposal of 9.18 tons of construction and demolition (c + d) debris at Taylor Recycling in Montgomery.
The violations for the illegal burning occurred on Mr. Cascino’s 300-acre Copake property three days after Mr. Cascino had one misdemeanor charge against him dismissed and was found not guilty by a jury of a second misdemeanor count related to illegal dumping in Clermont. He stood trial in state Supreme Court at the Columbia County Courthouse.
For the past 13 years, Mr. Cascino has been accumulating violations of federal, state and town law, many related to illegal dumping and building at his Copake property. Mr. Cascino owns Bronx County Recycling, LLC, a waste hauling/processing operation, just south of Yankee Stadium in the Bronx.
In a related incident on Monday, December 20, a truck driver, who works for Mr. Cascino and was driving a truck owned by Mr. Cascino, was ticketed for hauling a load of c+d from Mr. Cascino’s Copake property to his property in Dover, Dutchess County.
The DEC’s Region 3 press office provided The Columbia Paper, with a list of 10 offenses for which the driver and Mr. Cascino’s business entities were cited by DEC Officer Deo Read III.
Truck driver, Steven P. Grafals was charged with transporting an uncovered load of solid waste, a violation, that carries fine range $1,500 to $15,000, and release of 30 cubic yards of solid waste to the environment, a misdemeanor, with a fine range of $3,750 to $22,500.
Taconic Meadows, LLC, and Bronx County Recycling, LLC, Mr. Cascino’s business entities, were each cited for release of 30 cubic yards of solid waste to the environment, a misdemeanor; operating a solid waste facility without a permit, a violation, $1,500 to $15,000; disturbing a protected stream without a permit, a misdemeanor, $0 to $10,000; and altering a fresh water wetland without a permit, a violation, $500 to $1,000.
All the tickets were returnable in Dover Court January 24.
Dover Town Justice R. Wren Abrams said Wednesday that the charges are still pending and the next court date on the matter is February 14.
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