Friday, 25 May 2012 00:00
Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice announced Monday that a Muttontown man has been charged with illegally dumping thousands of gallons of toxic automotive fluids into the ground at his salvage yard located at 4 Park Place in Glen Cove, just south of the Glen Cove Waterway.
John Doxey, 44, was arrested Monday morning by DA office investigators and charged with 10 counts of endangering public health, safety or the environment in the third degree and 10 counts of discharge of pollution into the waters of the State of New York without a state pollution discharge elimination system permit. If convicted, he faces up to four years in prison and a fine of up to $75,000 per day for each day of dumping.
Doxey’s arrest is the result of an investigation by the Glen Cove Police Department, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), the Nassau County Police Department CAP Squad, and the DA’s Office. The investigation began with a tip from a person who rented office space in a nearby building.
Rice said that beginning in October 2011, Doxey, the owner of 4 Park Place Corp., a salvage yard that dismantles large commercial vehicles such as garbage trucks, dump trucks, tractor trailers, and other heavy construction machinery, was observed along with his employees stripping and dismantling vehicles without draining any of the vehicles’ fluids. State law requires fluids like gasoline, motor oil, anti-freeze, and hydraulic fluid to be drained and properly stored for disposal before disassembling a vehicle.
Doxey and his employees, however, were allegedly ripping vehicles apart with blow torches, drills, and power saws and releasing thousands of gallons of toxic automotive fluid into the ground. Scientific analysis of the property’s soil by the DEC confirmed high concentrations of petroleum, hydraulic fluid, transmission fluid, and anti-freeze, according to the DA’s office.
The defendant’s one-acre property lies just south of the Glen Cove Waterway, next to a former brownfield site that was decontaminated last November, and across the street from a youth baseball field. According to the DEC, soil and water contaminated with hazardous waste pose a health risk to humans and wildlife that may be directly exposed to it.
“This defendant put the health of his community, his employees, and even himself at risk, all in an attempt to save some time and make a few more dollars,” Rice said. “Environmental regulations are in place to ensure that Nassau County remains beautiful and healthy, and I established the Environmental Crimes Unit to bring exactly this kind of case. My office will continue to hold those who contaminate our environment accountable for their crimes and ensure that they bear the cost of cleanup.”
Glen Cove Mayor Ralph V. Suozzi said, “The city appreciates the diligent work by the NYS DEC, the Nassau County DA’s Office, the Glen Cove Police Department, the Glen Cove Building Department and Code Enforcement in putting an end to Mr. Doxey’s contamination of this sensitive site near our waterfront and public ball fields where our children play. As an elected official tasked with cleaning up environmental damage from the past, it is essential to protect our environment and make sure our community is safe from these hazards and the individuals that perpetrate them. This individual has disregarded the law, damaged our environment and placed profit above the health and safety of our children and our families. It is because of the collective coordinated activities between the city and these agencies that Mr. Doxey’s reckless actions and careless disregard for our laws and our environment have ceased.”
“The City of Glen Cove’s vigilance in alerting DEC about activities at this site, and the teamwork of DEC’s Environmental Conservation Police and the District Attorney’s Office were the keys to the success of this investigation,” said DEC Commissioner Joe Martens. “Those who violate the law and put the environment at risk for personal gain must know that there are significant consequences for such reckless disregard for Long Island’s natural resources.”