Kentucky Company Guilty of Dumping Contaminated Railroad Ties in Chenango County
New York State Attorney General Letitia James says a Kentucky-based freight shipping and trucking company will have to pay the consequences for illegally dumping contaminated railroad ties with hazardous materials in Chenango County and trying to cover it up with fake receipts.
James and New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos say Cross Tie Disposal Incorporated pleaded guilty to the Class C felony of Grand Larceny in the Second Degree and the Class E felony of Endangering Public Health, Safety or the Environment in the Third Degree and its Vice President, 48-year-old Harold Young have pleaded guilty to one count of Endangering Public Health, Safety or the Environment.
Cross and Young were sentenced in Chenango County Court to three-year conditional discharges in addition to penalties and fines of over $117,000 and are financially responsible for properly removing the creosote-soaked lumber they dumped as part of a rail revitalization project in Chenango County.
The Office of the Attorney General and D.E.C. investigated the case after the Chenango County Industrial Development Agency created the Chenango County Rail Revitalization Project in 2015 to repair and improve railroad tracks in the county. The IDA had selected Frontier Railroad Services LLC from Pennsylvania to oversee the project and Cross Tie was hired by Frontier as a subcontractor in 2016.
Frontier was responsible for properly disposing of old cross ties, which are hazardous old wooden beams that contain the preservative, creosote that comes from the high temperature treatment of wood and coal tar. The material has been banned in New York since 2008.
Instead of disposing of the waste at a regulated site in Erie County, it was instead dumped, under the direct supervision of Young, on a property in Chenango County.
The Attorney General says, to cover up the illegal disposal, Young created fraudulent scale tickets showing the ties deposited at the site in Erie County. Authorities say Frontier was duped by the fake tickets and thought the ties had been properly taken care of, paying Cross Tie over $50,000 for the work.
From samples collected by the D.E.C. in March, 2020, it was determined the ties dumped in Chenango County were contaminated with more than 100 gallons each of 11 different hazardous substances.
WNBF reported on April 1, 2022 that Young and Cross Tie Disposal had been indicted in the case.