The U.S. Department of Justice sentenced recycling and demolition company Mazza & Sons to pay for illegally dumping asbestos-contaminated construction debris in New Jersey, and an employee of the company and another individual to both fines and prison time for the activity.
Dominick Mazza, Cross Nicastro and the Tinton Falls, N.J.-based company were sentenced in federal court in Utica, N.Y., for conspiring to violate the Clean Water Act, Superfund statute, and to defraud the United States by illegally dumping thousands of tons of the construction debris on a 28-acre property on the Mohawk River in upstate New York, according to a news release from the Washington-based Justice Department. The defendants also were also sentenced on charges of obstructing justice and making false statements to law enforcement.
U.S. District Judge David Hurd sentenced Dominick Mazza to 51 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release, to pay a $75,000 criminal fine and $492,000 in restitution. Mazza is listed as director of finance of Mazza & Sons on his Linkedin page.
The judge sentenced Mazza & Sons to pay a $100,000 criminal fine and $494,000 in restitution and cleanup costs, and imposed five years of corporate probation.
Earlier in the week Nicastro was sentenced to 33 months in prison and three years of supervised release and to pay $492,494 in restitution and a $25,000 criminal fine.
The court also ordered that Mazza & Sons’ recycling facility fund and implement an environmental compliance plan to prevent future environmental violations at their Tinton Falls operation.
The defendants were convicted in October 2012.
They conspired to fill in the entire property over the course of five years with pulverized construction and demolition debris that was processed at New Jersey solid waste management facilities, including Mazza & Sons, and then transported to Cross Nicastro’s property in Frankfort, N.Y., according to trial evidence. When the plan was discovered just months after it began, at least 400 truckloads of debris had been dumped at the site. Much of the material dumped was placed in and near federal waters, and some of that material was found to be contaminated with asbestos.
The conspirators then concealed the illegal dumping by fabricating a New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) permit and forged the name of a DEC official on the fraudulent permit.
“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,” said Robert Dreher, acting assistant attorney general for the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division. “Had law enforcement not stopped their scheme, these conspirators could have dumped thousands of tractor trailer loads of debris in an area that contained wetlands.”