Striper snack packs
ECOs Taryn Czora, Brad Buffa and Jeff Krueger were on patrol in Long Island Sound on vessel A11 when a boat near City Island was found anchored and fishing for striped bass. The captain had a legal 33-inch striped bass in his live well; however, the officers decided to investigate further after finding an excess of small black plastic bags hidden in nearly every compartment of the boat. After a thorough search, a small hull access panel was found in the front cabin containing five undersized striped bass individually packaged in the black plastic bags. The five bass were seized as evidence and the man received two summonses for undersize and over the limit striped bass.
ECO Travis McNamara was conducting an air quality enforcement patrol near the Brookhaven Town Landfill when he noticed a red tractor-trailer exiting the landfill with an expired Heavy Duty Diesel Vehicle (HDDV) Emissions inspection. The officer stopped the vehicle and immediately recognized the driver. The driver had been stopped just a month prior, in the same tractor-trailer, at a Suffolk County truck inspection checkpoint that McNamara was working. At that time, the SCPD Motor Carrier Unit and officer McNamara had issued the company and the driver numerous summonses for various violations and the truck had been put out of service for various safety violations. After obtaining the driver and vehicle information, McNamara inspected the truck to see if the previous violations were repaired. Not only were none of the previous issues repaired, but there were new violations. Officer McNamara issued summons to the driver and the company for the exact same violations he had issued a month prior; no HDDV Emissions Inspection (Exp. 11/2013), depositing noisome/unwholesome substance on a highway (oil) and exhaust leaks, as well as a summons for dirty/unreadable plate. The driver stated that he had told the company about the previous violations but they failed to fix anything, stating he had no choice but to continue to operate the faulty equipment.
Marine hazard averted
ECO Travis McNamara was dispatched to a complaint regarding a portable fuel bladder that had washed ashore on Westhampton Beach. Upon arrival at the scene of the 300-gallon portable fuel bladder McNamara was met by two bay constables, a town of Southampton fire marshal, town of Southampton highway department employees and a Southampton trustee. The bladder was located below the high tide line and thus needed to be moved quickly before the tide began to rise again. While waiting for a Southampton highway department’s front-end loader, the bladder was inspected for leaks. Unfortunately, the location of the bladder made it difficult to determine if there were any leaks as the tide had just lowered, leaving the bladder surrounded and partially covered in wet sand. With the help of everyone on scene the 300-gallon bladder, filled with approximately 150 to 200 gallons of fuel, was carefully loaded into the front-end loader and transported to the Westhampton transfer station where it would be securely stored until it could be disposed of properly. After transferring the bladder to the back of a dump truck, the bladder was inspected again for any leaks. A very small leak was discovered and stabilized with the help of the town of Southampton fire marshal. DEC’s spills response unit was able to take care of the bladder the following day.
Trucking company owner cited
On May 28, Lt. Matt Blaising observed multiple trucks carrying large amounts of fill entering a residential property on Adirondack Drive in Farmingville in the town of Brookhaven. McNamara was called to investigate further. Upon investigation, one dump truck was observed leaving the property as another truck was seen actively dumping fill behind the house. The officer interviewed both the homeowner and the general contractor and learned the fill was being used to level the steeply sloped rear yard of the property. The officer noted the fill contained objects likely related to construction and demolition (C&D). DEC staff from the Division of Materials Management were contacted, subsequently accompanying DEC law enforcement to the site for a closer inspection of the fill and directing that work at the site cease until further classification of the material could be completed. Test pits were dug on the property to determine the scope and extent of the dumping. The dumping area was estimated to be approximately 3,500 cubic yards, covering an area of approximately 160 feet, between 20 to 40 feet wide and 2 to 40 feet deep. The fill contained large boulders, bricks, concrete, metal, rebar, rags/clothing material, broken ceramic pipe, plastics, a partial garbage can, glass, aluminum, processed wood, shingles, hose and electric wires. Upon completion of the investigation, ECOs arrested the president of the trucking company, who was charged with unlawful disposal of solid waste greater than 70 cubic yards (a Class A misdemeanor), operation of a C&D facility without a permit (Class A misdemeanor), landfill in a deep flow recharge area (a Class A misdemeanor), and putting noisome or unwholesome substances or maintaining a noisome business on or near a highway (an unclassified misdemeanor).
The Class A misdemeanors carry a potential penalty of up to $37,500 per day of violation and/or up to one year in jail. The unclassified misdemeanor is punishable by a minimum fine of $100 and/or up to six months in jail. The subject was to be arraigned in First District Court in Central Islip.
ECO Edward Piwko was notified that a property on Androvette Street had motor oil being discharged into the street and adjacent creek. The owner of the property was tearing apart various vehicles and letting the fluids just dump into the soil and flow into the street. The suspect also had placed so much refuse on his property that he knocked down the fence and was now dumping onto the neighbor’s property. Piwko notified the DEC Region 2 spills unit and took pictures of the site. He returned to the property and charged the owner with unlawful disposal of solid waste, polluting the waters of the state, and depositing a noisome and unwholesome substance onto a public highway.
Plan goes up in smoke
ECO Chris Lattimer was contacted by Officer Decker of the Port Jervis Police Department to assist with a case they were working on. Two males had stolen a riding lawn mower, dumped it into the Delaware River, (a “Class A” body of water), then removed the gas cap and set it on fire. The two suspects, along with two of their friends, were brought to the Port Jervis Police Department for questioning. The defendants, along with the witnesses, all corroborated that while walking along Riverside Park they spotted a riding lawn mower and the two suspects decided to try to hotwire it. When they were unable to do so, they put the lawn mower into neutral and rolled it down into the Delaware River, where it flipped over. The two suspects then got into the water and put the lawn mower back upright and removed the gas cap. They then began putting sticks into the gas tank and lit one of them on fire. The lawn mower then went up in flames and all of them ran away. When asked why, one of the suspects stated, “I just wanted to blow it up and see what happened.” Both of the suspects were charged with two felonies, five misdemeanors and one violation, ranging from criminal mischief in the second degree and grand larceny in the fourth degree, to open burning of rubbish and depositing a noxious/offensive substance into a stream. They were brought up for immediate arraignment in the Port Jervis City Court and remanded on $10,000 bail to the Orange County Correctional Facility.