July 22, 2008

Attorney General Sues Junkyard Duo

By Brian Nearing, Albany Times Union, N.Y.

Jul. 22--HUDSON FALLS -- The state Attorney General's office is suing owners of a Washington County junkyard for years of environmental damage caused by allowing toxic chemicals to foul the air and water.

East Side Used Auto Parts, 3614 Burgoyne Ave., allegedly crushed cars without properly draining fluids, which allowed gasoline, petroleum, antifreeze and Freon to pollute the ground and nearby wells, according to a lawsuit filed in the state Supreme Court in Washington County.

The junkyard is owned by James Marro and Robert Marro, who began operations at the site in 2003. The junkyard borders a residential neighborhood on three sides and a public school on the fourth.

"The owners of this junkyard have recklessly polluted the environment, creating both a health and safety threat as well as ruining the quality of life of its neighbors," said Attorney General Andrew Cuomo.

Residents who live nearby have repeatedly complained of headaches, nausea, breathing difficulties and loss of sleep.

"This facility has been given notice of two dozen DEC violations in less than a year, covering a host of environmental, public health, and quality-of-life issues. We'll be working closely with the Attorney General's office," said state Environmental Conservation Commissioner Pete Grannis.

The lawsuit seeks to stop additional pollution and require the Marros to clean up the property. It also asks that the owners pay civil penalties, which could total more than $50,000 per day, for violations. On May 30, the Town of Kingsbury denied the Marros' application to renew their junkyard operating license.


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