The owner of a New Jersey-based company was sentenced to federal prison this week for illegally dumping thousands of tons of asbestos-contaminated debris along the Mohawk River in Herkimer County.
Dominick Mazza, owner of Mazza & Sons, received 51 months — just more than 4 years — for conspiring to violate environmental regulations and then concealing the dumping by forging a state official’s name to a fraudulent state Department of Environmental Conservation permit.
U.S. District Judge David N. Hurt also ordered Mazza to pay a $75,000 criminal fine and $492,000 in restitution.
Mazza’s company will also have to pay $100,000 in fines and $494,000 in restitution to cover cleanup costs, as well as face five years of corporate probation.
Mazza and Frankfort landowner Cross Nicastro were found guilty after trial last year of conspiring to fill Nicastro’s entire 28-acre property over the course of five years with pulverized construction and demolition debris from several New Jersey solid waste management facilities, including Mazza & Sons.
But the plot was uncovered by law enforcement just months after at least 400 truckloads of debris had already been dumped at the site along the Mohawk River.
“Mazza and his co-conspirators are being held justly accountable for egregious environmental crimes, for putting the public’s health at risk, and for lying to federal investigators,” Robert Dreher, acting assistant attorney general for the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division, said in a released statement.
Nicastro, the landowner, was also sentenced this week to 33 months in prison and ordered to pay $492,494 in restitution and a $25,000 fine.
“This case should serve as notice that the EPA and its partner agencies will prosecute people who ‘cut corners’ by avoiding the costs of handling or disposing of asbestos properly,” said Cynthia Giles, assistant administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance.
Hurd further ordered that Mazza & Sons’ recycling facility fund and implement an environmental compliance plan to prevent future environmental violations at their operation in Tinton Falls, N.J. The compliance plan will be administered by a third party auditor.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Craig Benedict and trial attorneys Todd Gleason and Gary Donner of the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division.