DEP gears up to halt illegal dumping
Eight area companies have been fined for illegal dumping in the past year.
MEADVILLE, Pa. -- The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection is increasing enforcement efforts to stop the illegal dumping of demolition waste in Mercer and Lawrence counties and western Butler County.
The department also is encouraging area residents to partner with DEP to put an end to the illegal practice.
"DEP has documented a number of incidents over the years where demolition and construction waste has been dumped illegally at locations throughout the Shenango Valley and western Butler County," said Kelly Burch, Environmental Protection regional director. "Over the past year, we have taken enforcement action -- including penalties -- in eight of these cases, but the illegal dumping continues."
She urges residents concerned about their community to help end this activity.
Making complaints in secret
"The department has a confidential complaint system that residents can use to report areas where demolition waste has been dumped illegally. The goal is to clean up what's there and deter future dumping by making sure these violators know they're being watched not only by the state, but also by the community at large."
Residents can call DEP's New Castle District Office at (724) 656-3160, or the DEP service representative at (866) 255-5158.
Complaints also can be made through DEP's Web site at http://www.dep.state.pa.us/. Click on the "Can We Help?" link and choose "Report an Environmental Problem."
Pennsylvania law requires that demolition and construction waste be disposed of in landfills, not burned or dumped on private or public property. Demolition contractors, waste haulers and property owners where waste is dumped all can be held responsible.
List of violations
In the past year, DEP has taken these enforcement actions:
UPaul Siegal/Siegal Excavating, Sept. 25, 2004: Disposing of and burning construction/demolition waste at an unauthorized disposal site in Mahoning Township, Lawrence County; $3,000 penalty.
UCharles Barletto, Jan. 26: Transporting residual waste to an unauthorized disposal site in Hickory Township, Lawrence County; $5,000 penalty.
UErnest Cahall, Feb. 9: Disposing of construction/demolition waste at an unauthorized disposal site in Connoquenessing Township, Butler County; $17,500 penalty.
UInvestment & amp; Enterprises, May 31: Disposing of construction/demolition waste at an unauthorized disposal site in Connoquenessing, Township, Butler County; $6,000 penalty.
UDuane C. Hambrick Co., June 7: Disposing of construction/demolition waste at an unauthorized disposal site in Hickory Township, Lawrence County; $5,000 penalty.
UMichael Totin, July 22: Burning and disposing of construction/demolition waste in Sharpsville, Mercer County; $5,000 penalty.
UJohn and Sandra Abels, July 22: Burning of and disposing of municipal waste in Hickory Township, Lawrence County; $8,500 penalty.
UDavid and Carol Lynch, Aug. 15: Disposing of construction/demolition without a permit on their property in New Castle, Lawrence County. DEP's order requires the Lynches to remove the construction/demolition waste to a permitted disposal facility.