Sunday, May 12, 2024

Solid waste illegally dumped on Franklin County property, ECOs take part in Earth Week events

solid waste

Dumping Bust – Franklin County
On April 10, ECO Okonuk received a complaint about a large amount of garbage dumped on a landowner’s property off Kibbie Road in the town of Bombay. Officer Okonuk conducted an investigation into an individual who allegedly dumped the trash on the property. ECO Okonuk and a New York State Trooper met with the subject and the ECO ticketed him for the unlawful disposal of solid waste. The subject had an active warrant for unrelated charges and was taken into custody by State Police.

Month-Long Truck Detail – Fulton and Saratoga Counties
During the month of April, ECOs from Fulton and Saratoga counties teamed up with New York State Department of Transportation (DOT) Inspectors to conduct heavy-duty diesel truck details. ECOs and DOT Inspectors focused on emissions, leaks, and safety violations as they checked several trucks. Over the course of the month-long detail, Officers issued 77 tickets with several vehicles taken out of service by DOT for safety violations. Violations ranged from oil leaks to equipment safety violations and drivers operating uninspected and unregistered vehicles and trailers.

ECOs conduct inspections of heavy-duty diesel trucks in Fulton and Saratoga counties. NYS DEC photo.

Restricted Use Pesticide Sales – St. Lawrence County
On April 22, ECOs in St. Lawrence County conducted compliance checks focused on the sale of restricted use pesticides. The Officers inspected locations selling pesticides to determine whether they adhered to State laws and regulations, including neonicotinoid pesticides that have been classified as restricted use in New York State due to concerns about potential impacts on pollinators. Officers checked nine stores in the towns of Canton, Dekalb, Gouverneur, Massena, and Stockholm and found no violations.

Earth Week 2024 – Statewide
From trash cleanups to pharmaceutical collections, ECOs statewide participated in several events to commemorate Earth Week 2024:

  • On April 20, ECOs Machnica and Damrath kicked off Earth Week by joining the Erie County Trappers Association for the “Adopt-A-Highway” event in Concord. Volunteers of all ages braved high winds along a two-mile stretch of NY-39, filled 20 trash bags, and removed four illegally discarded waste tires. The event highlights the wide-ranging environmental stewardship of New York’s hunters, anglers, and trappers.
  • On April 22, ECOs in DEC Region 7 conducted dry cleaner compliance details in Broome, Tompkins, and Tioga counties. Dry cleaning facilities are required to adhere to regulations in accordance with the Clean Air Act, including proper certification, vapor barriers, leakage protocols, and maintaining a clean and orderly facility. Officers issued several written warnings for minor lapses in record keeping. Overall, most dry cleaners checked were in compliance and operating in a safe and environmentally friendly manner.
  • On April 22, Lieutenant Mathis met with Cub Scout Pack 514 of East Aurora in Erie County and explained the role of ECOs in protecting the fish, wildlife, and natural resources of New York State. He also educated the youth on the work being done statewide to stop the illegal trade of endangered species. During the Officer’s visit, the scouts had the opportunity to handle elephant ivory, sperm whale teeth, and products made from sea turtles seized by ECOs.
  • To commemorate Earth Day in Washington County, ECOs teamed up with the Washington County Youth Bureau and Alternative Sentencing to clean up popular fishing areas along the Champlain and Old Barge canals. Due to easy access, these areas are busy during the summer months and, unfortunately, a popular dumping ground. In total, the crew collected 25 bags of trash, 19 used tires, mattresses, several air conditioning units, TVs, small appliances, furniture, and a large pile of construction debris.
  • On April 24 and 26, ECOs in Greene and Delaware counties conducted compliance checks of 11 facilities that currently have active State Pollution Discharge Elimination System (SPDES) permits issued by DEC. ECOs inspected and evaluated onsite wastewater systems and their discharge points. Three of the 11 facilities were found to have numerous violations including: failure to operate in accordance with a SPDES permit; failure to complete discharge monitoring reports; failure to complete monthly and annual operating reports; failure to retain sampling records for five years; failure to install and maintain outfall signage; failure to maintain systems as required; causing or contributing to a water quality standard violations; and unlawful discharge of wastewater at a permitted facility. ECOs are working with DEC’s Division of Water to address all issues discovered during these inspections.
  • On April 27, ECOs in Oneida County participated in an Earth Week initiative that included a pharmaceutical collection event at the Oneida-Herkimer Solid Waste Authority (OHSWA) in Utica. The event was attended by State Senator Griffo and included an appearance from Binny, OHSWA’s new mascot. The event was so well attended that three ECO police trucks were required to transport all the disposed pharmaceuticals from the collection site to an incinerator in Oswego County.
  • In the week leading up to Earth Day, ECOs in Jefferson and Lewis counties conducted inspections of registered repair facilities for compliance of the Environmental Conservation Law (ECL).  Automotive repair facilities are subject to several requirements under the ECL to keep potential environmental hazards associated with vehicle maintenance from causing pollution. Requirements in the law also provide a place for the public to properly dispose of hazardous materials produced from automotive maintenance performed at home. Officers inspected 25 repair shops and documented several violations, including failure to register bulk waste oil tank, failure to label waste oil tank, failure to post sign for the acceptance of waste oil/used lead acid batteries, and for the illegal storage of lead acid batteries. Twenty-three Administrative Appearance tickets were issued along with 26 written warnings. The repair facilities cited are bringing their shops into compliance with the regulations and are subject to reinspection at a future date.
ECO with tire

ECO Dewey removes an illegally dumped tire during “Clean up with a Conservation Officer Day” in Washington County. NYS DEC photo.

ECO conducting a compliance check

ECOs McCormick and Wilson speak with the operator of a dry-cleaning business during multi-county compliance checks during Earth Week. NYS DEC photo.

To contact an ECO to report an environmental crime or to report an incident, call 1-844-DEC-ECOS for 24-hour dispatch or email (for non-urgent violations).

Photo at top: Solid waste illegally dumped on a property in Franklin County. NYS DEC photo.

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Information attributed to NYSDEC is taken from press releases and news announcements from New York State's Department of Environmental Conservation.

6 Responses

  1. Naj Wikoff says:

    Hopefully the person taken into custody for the illegal dumping of trash on the Kibbie Road property will be made to clean it up to the owners satisfaction while incarcerated.

    • nathan says:

      i have had issues of illegal dumping on my lands also. The high costs of disposing of bulk items has created a nightmare, tires, big tv’s, mattresses. never caught dumpers and i get stuck cleaning and paying hundreds to dispose of.
      Another big issue is car accidents where careless driver runs off the road onto my property. Police fail to notify land owners and/or make sure that tow company fully cleans up debris from car. find plastic bumpers, foam and other junk just left and then try to find which police came, insurance company, ect or i am stuck again paying to get ride….Cant a cop just do their job and make sure cleaned up?? and report to land owner of property damage, insurance for repairing fences, gates, ect???

  2. Steven Frederick says:

    As horrible as this is we allow the factory farms to dump liquid manure miles from their factories in a case I have witnessed as many as 20 overloaded tractor trailers per day. This is being dumped close to homes and wells and a brook that empties into Lake Champlain. With the recent problems with Asian bird flu in cattle and there milk as well as E-Coli this is a disaster waiting to happen plus we subsidize it !!!!

  3. Steven Frederick says:

    Thank you for this 🙏 but in all honesty you could see it flowing through the brook during and after the recent rains

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