A Muttontown man was arrested Monday and charged with 20 felony counts of illegal dumping of hazardous automotive waste at his salvage yard at 4 Park Place in Glen Cove, according to the Nassau County district attorney's office.
John Doxey, 44, is accused of releasing thousands of gallons of toxic automotive fluids into the ground at his business, 4 Park Place Corp., located just south of the Glen Cove Waterway.
Doxey and his employees were observed releasing the fluids in the course of stripping and dismantling large commercial vehicles and other heavy machinery at the salvage yard since at least October 2011 when the investigation began, the DA's office said.
Such fluids are required by state law to be drained and properly stored for disposal before a vehicle is dismantled.
The investigation was the result of a tip from someone who had rented office space in a nearby building, according to the county. It was conducted by the Glen Cove Police Department, the state Department of Environmental Conservation, the Nassau County Police Department's Crimes Against Property Squad and the DA's office.
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DEC testing of the property's soil confirmed high concentrations of petroleum, hydraulic fluid, transmission fluid and anti-freeze, the county said.
The one-acre property is located next to a former brownfield site that was decontaminated in November, and across the street from a youth baseball field.
"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,” district attorney Kathleen 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.”
DEC Commissioner Joe Martens praised the teamwork of the cooperating agencies in a statement, and vowed similar action against others who may perpetrate such crimes: "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.”
Glen Cove mayor Ralph Suozzi said in a statement, "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.”
Doxey has , fighting a years-long legal battle over what the city called an "illegal and contaminated scrap yard" at 10 Garvies Point Road, according to a March 2011 statement. That property was seized by the city through eminent domain in 2006.