Richard Blumenthal (D)
HARTFORD, Conn. (Legal Newsline) - Attorney General Richard Blumenthal has won an emergency court order against a Connecticut resident who allegedly excavated toxic waste.
The order was brought against Jospeh Marcell, whose mother owns the property, and he was charged with allegedly threatening to expose homes and businesses to harmful contaminants, which is in direct defiance of the Department of Environmental Protection.
"Our emergency order should immediately block further dangerous disruption of this poisonous superfund site," Blumenthal said. "This property owner dug up toxic trouble-for neighbors and himself-when he excavated highly contaminated soil. This illegal excavation has disturbed 70 years worth of toxic waste from automotive parts production that may contain PCBs, asbestos and lead."
The Stratford property in question is located at 340 East Main St., and is part of the Raymark Industries Superfund Site. It contains 70 years worth of toxic pollution from automotive parts manufacturing.
The lawsuit alleges that Marcell illegally excavated contaminated waste from the site, and continued to do so even after DEP officials ordered him to stop.
"This illegal action could mean severe penalties, including possible criminal charges, if he continues to directly defy state officials by exposing and endangering citizens to pernicious pollutants," the Democratic attorney general said. "My office will fight to block this public health and environmental danger, and secure the site."
DEP is working with staff from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to secure the material with an emergency cover to prevent contaminants from spreading to nearby businesses and a residential neighborhood about 150 yards away.
Deputy Commissioner Amey Marrella said it's a violation of the law or someone to take matters into their own hands to remove contaminated soils.
"Federal, state and local officials have been working closely with property owners and the Stratford community for an orderly, effective and safe resolution of issues surrounding the presence of contaminated soils containing Raymark waste," Marrella said. "With the continuing efforts and cooperation of all parties to the Raymark situation the right steps will be taken to cleanup affected properties."
The court order will also allow federal and state emergency responders to further reduce risk on the property, which will protect the public and neighboring property owners.