No More Graves On N.Y. Waste Sites

New York - A New York court has made a grave decision on construction and demolition (C&D) debris. The Appellate Division of the New York Supreme Court in Brooklyn has ruled that new grave sites can no longer be created on top of C&D waste sites.

The decision overturned a 1993 ruling that allowed cemeteries to create grave sites on top of C&D debris, as long as the debris was covered by at least 10 to 12 feet of topsoil.

"The very presence of C&D debris in the burial mound contaminates the whole site and desecrates the dead," said Fred Santucci, Appellate Division Justice and member of the panel which made the decision.

The dispute began when the Cypress Hills Cemetery, a 200-acre facility, enlarged the cemetery by building mounds out of construction debris. In 1993, then-Gov. Mario Cuomo signed a bill outlawing the use of C&D debris at burial sites. Cypress Hills went to court and received the topsoil exemption.