New Jersey Acting Attorney General John Hoffman announced on Tuesday that the state has filed two lawsuits against the owner-operator of Fenimore Landfill in Roxbury Township. The suits allege that the facility’s owners, Strategic Environmental Partners LLC, Richard Bernardi and Marilyn Bernardi, defrauded the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).
The suits assert that the Bernardis allegedly won DEP approval for a photovoltaic installation project despite failing to disclose $2.5 million in corporate and personal debt, misappropriated at least $1.26 million, and potentially up to $3.4 million, in landfill tipping fees, and created a public nuisance by failing to control noxious hydrogen sulfide emissions from decaying construction and demolition debris.
“The irresponsible, unlawful actions of these defendants not only have cost the State a significant amount of money and fouled our environment in a general sense, they have exposed an entire community, including many school children, to noxious odors that are extremely unpleasant to live with and have the potential to make people feel ill,” said Acting Attorney General Hoffman in a press release. “The time for talk and excuses is past. The citizens of New Jersey, and especially the residents of Roxbury Township, deserve better, and that is why we’ve taken this aggressive legal action on behalf of the State today.”