HARTFORD, Conn. (Legal Newsline) - Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen announced on Wednesday that an Ohio-based landowner has been ordered to pay a $282,000 civil penalty for failing to comply with a pollution abatement order.
Cadlerock Properties Joint Venture LP allegedly failed to comply with an order issued by the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection in 1997. The state appellate court rejected the company's appeal of that penalty this week, which stems from its alleged failure to assess and clean up pollution on 335 acres it owns in Willington and Ashford. The company did not contest its violation of the order, but challenged the amount of the penalty.
"This decision is a win for the state and for the people of Connecticut because it puts polluters on notice that we will not back down from enforcing environmental pollution laws, no matter how long it takes," Jepsen said.
Cadlerock, a limited partnership, is not registered to do business in the state of Connecticut. Its principal place of business is Newton Falls, Ohio, and its general partner is an Ohio corporation, Cadlerock Inc. Daniel C. Cadle is the sole shareholder of The Cadle Company and Cadlerock Inc.
Cadlerock Properties Joint Venture acquired the Connecticut property from an affiliated entity, Cadle Properties of Connecticut Inc. Cadle Properties of Connecticut received a deed in lieu of foreclosure in September 1995 from Ashford Development Co.
In August 1997, the DEEP issued a pollution abatement order against the company, requiring in part that the company hire an environmental consultant to investigate the existing and potential degree and extend of soil, ground water and surface water pollution. The company appealed and the order was affirmed in July 2000 by the Connecticut Supreme Court
After the company allegedly failed to comply with the terms of the final order, Jepsen's office, on behalf of the DEEP, brought an enforcement action in September 2007. The appellate court found that the penalty assessed by the trial court was appropriate because "there are sufficient financial resources readily available to the defendant and that the decision whether to expend those financial resources is controlled by [Daniel] Cadle and his affiliated entities."
In a related case, the appellate court found that the remediation order did not deprive the property rights of the owner.