A Special Meeting of the Board of Trustees of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson, NY was held on Wednesday, January 15, 2003 at the Municipal Building, Van Wyck Street, Croton-on-Hudson, NY 10520.
The following officials were present:
Mayor Elliott Trustee Grant
Trustee McCarthy Village Manager Herbek Trustee Wiegman
Attorney Waldman Trustee Schmidt
Also present: Michael Gerrard, Special Counsel
A court reporter was also available at the instance of Metro Enviro and the transcript will be available at the Village Office. A videotape is also available.
1. CALL TO ORDER:
Mayor Elliott called the meeting to order at 8:15 pm. Everyone joined in the Pledge of Allegiance.
2. PUBLIC HEARING
Continuation of Public Hearing of May 7, 2001 regarding the Special Permit renewal for Metro Enviro Transfer LLC.
Discussion: Mayor Elliott stated that there is a problem with the sound system which could not be corrected tonight but the meeting is being recorded on video tape and it is hoped that the camera equipment will pick up the sound for the taped replay. Mayor Elliott then began by asking the applicant for their comments on the draft Findings statement for which the Public Hearing was carried over to this date. Mr. Steinmetz, representing Allied and Metro Enviro said he would present a comprehensive response to the Findings prepared by Special Counsel Gerrard. He began by introducing Mark Saleski – District Manager, Eric Johnson – General Manager, John Di Napoli, Michael Altobelli – Compliance and Safety Manager, Christine Meket – Sales Manager, Robert Barber –
consultant and PE, Kathleen Massey – attorney for Allied from the Dechart Law firm; she represents Allied as general counsel and has worked on issues related to the Federal Monitor, Walter Mack.
Mr. Steinmetz said he is going to present several witnesses; the court reporter will administer an oath to each of the witnesses who testify. He asked for courtesy to present witnesses in an uninterrupted fashion and then will take questions. He may make closing arguments at the end and reserves the right to submit additional information and comments at the January 27 meeting. As background, Mr. Steinmetz said he has been involved for 5 years; retained years ago when the original Special Permit was pending before the Village Board; brought in in 1998. Originally he worked with the Village Board, the Village consultant – Ally, King, Rosen and Fleming (AKRF), the Citizens Committee, the Planning Board and the Zoning Board of Appeals to resolve a number of issues. The record shows when data was collected on
a number of topics, the Village Board adopted a Negative Declaration under SEQR and the Village Board adopted a Special Use Permit for Metro Enviro LLC. Improvements to the facility were made subsequent to and, in some cases, prior to this action. In March 2001, Metro Enviro filed an application for renewal of the Special Permit in anticipation of the May 2001 expiration of the original permit. At one of the early meetings a finding was made that this was an administrative application – a renewal. Since then a number of issues have been addressed and several extensions have been granted. They also have a NYSDEC permit renewal under way and his clients expect that renewal in the near future. Tonight he will be responding to the Findings of the Special Counsel. Thanked the Board for the courtesy of providing the time to respond.
Mr. Steinmetz presented an Affidavit from Scott Clearwater of Engelhard saying that no hazardous waste was shipped from Engelhard to Allied. It was only speculation that this occurred. His position is that in the absence of any empirical evidence in the record of this happening, even though it was a violation of rules in the O and M manual, there is no evidence of harm to the community. Absent that, the VB has no right to not renew the Special Permit. He wants to refute tonight the assertions of statements in the draft Findings. He wants to discuss the importance of culture in the mechanism of compliance. With him tonight is a management team that has been put in place by Allied to fulfill the conditions of the Village permit, the DEC permit and all others - to fulfill those requirements and
expectations. They want to give the Board the confidence to move forward with the permit.
Eric Johnson- General Manager was sworn in by the transcriber. He stated he is in charge of all transfer stations in the County owned by Allied. He was hired solely to be the accountable officer of those facilities. Mr. Johnson stated he is a West Point graduate, and most recently has worked for BFI, a precursor to Allied in 3 locations for 7 years. Intermediate waste processing facilities or transfer stations are his experience. In Los Angeles, he was responsible for BFI’s largest facility, handling 4000 tons/day. He started as General Mgr. on 12/16/02 to provide oversight to create a culture of safe environmental, compliant and healthy conditions at the County facilities and to enforce compliance with those objectives. He has a history of compliance and has created a culture that supports
that. Mr. Johnson provided a brief description of the operation of Metro Enviro - a C and D only transfer station, a physical location of about 10 acres between the railroad and route 9, receives waste from throughout the County by trucks with open-top roll offs or tractor trailers. He described the weighing in and out process, the record keeping that takes place, the camera and personnel that view the contents of the scale and the loads and a radiation detection device. Once weighed, the truck moves through sealed rollup door to inside the building, deposits its load of C and D onto the floor where the crew looks at the load. If it is acceptable, it is pushed into tipping floor storage area or moved into area for loading into railroad cars. The tipping floor is reinforced concrete designed to bear the weight of operating equipment and truck traffic and material itself. In summer of 2002 a major portion of the floor was reengineered
and repaired; a 10 inch thick concrete wall also acts as part of the foundation of the building. If any unauthorized waste comes in incidentally, and is identified while the delivering truck is still there, it is reloaded and sent back. If the truck has already departed, then it is handled according to the protocols in the O and M manual and the DEC and special use permit. Outbound material is put onto rail cars by a bucket loader and sent to Ohio location. A leachate collection system, water that has been in contact with the C and D, is in the center of the tipping floor - 2 large drains with grates, empties into a piping system to the South side of the building and into a 2000 gallon retention tank. Water cannot escape unless pumped out from the top. It is monitored periodically by personnel and emptied by a licensed contractor and taken to an authorized site. Stormwater comes from rain on the roof, grass, roads, etc. It is collected from locations
and moved to a retention basin that is on the north end of property where it collects until it is sufficient to drain into a NYSDOT sanitary sewer connection; tested by a consulting engineer four times a year. Due to recent drought, there hasn’t been much water collected in the basin in recent years. When rollup doors are down, except when truck traffic coming and going, dust is controlled. Misting system is part of the dust control as well. C and D waste tends to be very dry materials so most of mist water is absorbed into waste and goes out with the waste on the railroad cars. If there is any excess water, it will go to the leachate collection system. Training of personnel is very important to the facility; is done every year and is repetitive so employees get it over and over again. There is also corporate and regional compliance training and post collection training related to the operation of equipment in the facility, identification of waste and proper
handling. The training targets specific issues from the special use permits and the DEC permits and also items in the O and M manual. He is aware of discrepancies that have occurred and they/he will overcome these and nothing will fall through the cracks. His role is the ultimate officer accountable for the compliance and safe operation of the facility. Mr.Altobelli is his compliance and safety manager, an expert on all the training. Mr. Johnson is the ultimate accountable officer. Inspection reports are usually immediate. They are left with the facility operator if he is not there at the time but he is there frequently every week; his boss, Mr. Saleski, and Mr.Altobelli are there very frequently – arrive unannounced and watch the conduct of the employees with regard to rules and policies. Inspection reports are either received immediately or else handed to the scale officer if he, Mr. Johnson, is not there. Those reports go to the Mamaroneck
office and proceed upward through the corporate staff chain to the Northeast Region compliance office, Mr. Saleski’s superiors, and beyond that to Area and Corporate headquarters – all within a 24 hour period after receipt of materials at the site.
Mr. Steinmetz introduced Robert Barber, Metro Enviro’s expert witness, a PE and Vice President of Barber and Barber Associates who was sworn in by the transcriber. Mr. Barber said he is an environmental expert in the area of solid waste. He has reviewed the draft statement of findings, permits from the DEC, correspondence from the permitee , and met with the Engelhard representative, Allied and Metro Enviro. He stated that 1) the health and safety of Croton residents has not been threatened by the violations that occurred and 2) the facility is designed to handle the types of things that occurred. He reviewed his many years of public and private waste disposal experience. He had been a Vice President for Health and Safety of a 17-state area for waste management issues, has developed a computerized a tracking system,
is a licensed PE in three states including NYS, and has presented papers at several national conferences. He was retained to provide expert opinion in this matter. He reviewed areas where safeguards lie – physical and concrete structures, pad, collection system, sealed collection tanks, enclosed building, sealed doors, separate unauthorized material collection points, paved roadways and screening berms. Operationally, there is a procedure to segregate unacceptable materials and their removal from processing floor every day, the floor completely cleaned every 30 days, to control litter, vectors, dust, unauthorized waste, traffic, railroading, etc. Routine training is in place although in the past some may have not been done as required. Regarding Engelhard waste, no hazardous materials were shipped as discussed with Scott Clearwater of Engelhard. No liquids, some municipal solid waste (MSW) and some materials that are recycled – cardboard tubes,
plastic wrap were sent to Metro Enviro. According to the Clearwater affidavit, all materials were solid and stable. The Metro Enviro Special Permit anticipates such waste arriving and provides for procedures for handling this in the O and M manual. He reviewed these procedures. The stormwater analysis shows no effects of Engelhard wastes. Mr. Barber concludes that no resident of the Village was jeopardized in any way. Procedures to handle anticipated unauthorized wastes are typical of most permits; they are safeguards built into the facility to prevent endangerment of the environment. He is not aware of any adverse impact of any of the unauthorized waste. Regarding overages, the Village permit and DEC permit and the O and M manual all anticipated an increase from the original amounts, therefore the facility was thought to be equipped to handle this greater amount. The one receipt of over 1000 did not exceed an overage of the weekly
average. Also the amount of the overage above 1,000 tons would not have resulted in more than 5 additional trucks per day. He concludes that these did not affect the health, safety and welfare of the Village since Metro Enviro was deemed equipped to handle this amount. Regarding less significant violations in the Findings – tire collection – they arrived in C and D loads, were stored in a closed container until full and then removed. Tires are non-hazardous waste and storing in a closed container is a Best Management Practice (BMP) which is similar to automotive service stations; this is not a health, safety and welfare issue for the Village; there is no more impact than the storage of tires by a neighboring tire warehouse. About training violations, the programs in the O and M manual are comprehensive and will provide safety if properly implemented. Allied’s own health and safety program is more comprehensive than O and M manual requirements. It
provides protection for the health, safety and welfare of the Village. About the refrigerators, two were received. Inspectors detected them on the pad, already compressed when found, one without its compressor; both were properly removed from the pad and stored separately and health, safety and welfare was not threatened. Regarding leachate, a truck unloaded some waste out of the building, some came out of the building and rain water came into contact with it and flowed off the pavement and into the ditch . It flows to the retention basin in the rear of the building and, as already reported, testing of the runoff found no evidence of any health, safety and welfare impact. Under Federal law these wastes would not be considered as industrial wastes. Other states do not include these materials. Croton’s special permits requirements are very strict and more stringent than those of the DEC and more so than other such stations. The enclosed
building and paved roads are above and beyond what the DEC requires for a C and D operation. It is ideally suited for a transfer stations with railroad on one side and highway on other. He concludes there is no adverse health, safety and welfare effect on residents. The Permit anticipates receipt of unauthorized waste and the facility is well run.
Mr. Gerrard asked if Mr. Steinmetz would be submitting a written report. Mr. Steinmetz said they have not decided.
Mr. Steinmetz introduced Mark Saleski, District Manager, hired in September 2002, who was sworn in. Mr. Saleski said he oversees 5 facilities in the County – plus 2 in upstate NY. In waste business for 18 years at BFI which was acquired by Allied. He has been hired to address management and compliance issues in this area. He has implemented changes, has had 2 new General Mgrs since he came, he is seeking high quality people who he trusts and who believe in compliance. They train their sales people in waste profiling of new customers for business that would come into Allied’s facilities. His compensation is tied to compliance and lack of NOV – notices of violation. Allied has a corporate commitment to compliance – corporate people will be doing unannounced inspections. There is a
willingness to address and intent to comply with regulations; the intent is to always cooperate with any and all inspectors. Compliance is our business - that is what we offer our customers. It is an attitude and a culture. Every day we have to work to earn your trust. On the Host Community Proposal, at a fall meeting with Mr. Gerrard, Mr. Herbek, Mr. Steinmetz and Mr. Rooney of Allied, a offer was made of $.75/ton with a maximum annual payment of $75,000 for use for monitoring. They have never received a response to that offer but the offer stands. Mr. Johnson reports to him. Mr. Altobelli reports to Mr. Johnson. They are all here in Westchester County and meet frequently - both planned and coincidentally - at sites as well as in the office. All employees can contact him at any time. More than one person is almost always available for contact by employees.
Mr. Steinmetz spoke of the impact of closure on Allied and other people – haulers and small business people who rely on Metro Enviro for their own business. Closure would cause significant service disruptions – waste may accumulate on customers’ sites or diverted to less well-run stations, also service disruptions to job completions, and Allied may lose customers. There will be an impact on existing customers – small haulers might go elsewhere and not return and it will cause service disruptions for their own (Allied’s) haulers. Mr. Steinmetz spoke about the importance of balancing empirical data and generalized community opposition. He is well aware of what the Board has heard over the years. There is no imminent danger to health, safety and welfare – the record shows this. There are no claims
before the Board that anything that would cause health, safety and welfare concerns have occurred. Even exceedences were not beyond that which Metro Enviro had the capacity to handle even though they were in violation of the restrictions in place. Most importantly regarding traffic, he heard lots of generalized comments about traffic concerns over last 5 years. Mr. Steinmetz said there is a right of correction or rehabilitation of operations – the DEC says if violations occur, there is a right to rehabilitate yourself. This is true of business owners and homeowners, as well. If the draft Finding statement is what you are predicating your decision on this Board has not met the burden of proof that is required. Mr. Gerrard has not provided empirical data linking the violations to health, safety and welfare. He knows the Board has had a great deal of community input about the best interests of the Village of Croton. There is no nexus, no studies, no
tests, no sampling, no traffic counts to connect the Findings to health, safety and welfare impacts on the Village. Adoption of the Findings and a closing will thwart Allied’s expectations and investment in the Metro Enviro facility. It will likely result in damages being awarded to Allied. He had opposed the Citizen Committee at first, but now thinks it was a good idea. His client absolutely and unequivocally commits to rehabilitation and compliance. It is a major mistake for this community to revoke this permit. You are governed by clear standards and his clients have legal rights. If you do close facility, he is asking that no closure take affect immediately, that there be adequate notice before cessation for Allied to have time to exercise injunctive relief. The decision is not easy politically and personally but legally, the record is clear. He has served a FOIL request on the Village to review records but doesn’t expect to find
anything not already in the record. You have a burden of proof and you have not met it. Village has an opportunity to follow the law and the resources, based on the Host Community offer, to monitor more often.
Mayor Elliott asked Mr. Gerrard to question Mr. Steinmetz. Mr. Gerrard thanked Mr. Steinmetz for his presentation. He said he wanted to focus on a series of letters sent to Mr. Steinmetz requesting documents, only a fraction of which have been received. Has Metro Enviro received a report from Mr. Mack? Ms Massey said yes, but they did not receive all the exhibits to the depositions and have not had a chance to review them. After doing so they will respond to the request for them. They intend to be as forthcoming as they can be in the next few days. It was received on Dec. 24. It is a draft report; the monitor gives Allied a chance to respond and the monitor may take into account Allied’s comments; it may result in another round; Allied intends to, but hasn’t responded yet. There is not a specific date
for doing so. They will apply to keep the draft under seal until their comments are received and think Mr. Mack will agree. Mr. Gerrard asked if Depositions of Allied personnel were taken. Ms. Massey said – they have copies of the transcripts. Mr. Gerrard asked they would give them to the Village. Ms. Massey said Allied would let him know in the next few days; they are aware of your interest in receiving this information. Mr. Gerrard said the report from Mr. Saleski refers to Mr. Mack’s report and quotes Mr. Mack’s recognition of their culture of compliance. Ms. Massey said this is a different report which is currently filed with the court and she anticipates that it will be unsealed, except for proprietary information. Allied has not filed comments on this report – one of the 15 periodic reports Mr. Mack has filed. Mr. Gerrard asked if they requested redactions. She said that has not been done yet but will be done in the near
future. Mr. Gerrard said you quote from a report that you have and we don’t have and we cannot put your quotations from these reports into context – like shadow boxing. Ms. Massey said that Mr. Mack said he intends to complete his report in the near future; he has not finished his report on the issues of industrial waste – the Engelhard waste. Mr. Gerrard asked if his report was complete in other respects? She said yes generally, that is her understanding. Mr. Gerrard asked if there were other exhibits from the 15th report. Ms. Massey said there are documentary exhibits and expository exhibits in the draft report. Mr. Gerrard asked if she would commit to a date when you will submit redactions to the 15th report; she said by the end of next week and we will answer your letter by the end of this week. Mr. Gerrard asked if she would commit to a date for submitting redactions to the draft report. Ms. Massey stated she will not do so for the draft
report, will wait for the final report.
Mr. Gerrard asked Ms. Massey if Allied would object to a Village request to the court to see the draft report. She said yes. He asked if they had the information he requested in his letter of 12/11/02. Mr. Steinmetz said he believes they have answered most of those questions; submitted information today for the first 18 loads; Mr. DiNapoli has the information on the remaining 24 loads; they will answer any additional questions tonight about it.
John DiNapoli was sworn in. Mr. Gerrard asked if all the loads were from Engelhard. Mr. DiNapoli said yes. Mr. Gerrard said the first report doesn’t indicate which Engelhard facility the loads came from – first 28 came from same location, next 24 came from two facilities. Will it be shown? Mr. DiNapoli will identify where the loads came from. Mr. Gerrard said the report does not address the physical characteristics of the waste. Mr. Steinmetz read from the affidavit from Scott Clearwater of Engelhard – declares Engelhard did not provide hazardous waste. The waste was nonhazardous industrial waste and other nonhazardous solid waste. Indicates he has personal knowledge of the facts. Mr. Steinmetz said let the record reflect that Mr. Clearwater knew his affidavit would be
submitted to the Village Board. Mr. Gerrard asked if Mr. Steinmetz knew how often Mr. Clearwater visits the Engelhard facility in Peekskill; no. Did he ever physically see the loads; don’know, but he would have access to all the records of shipments. Are Mr.Clearwater’s responsibilities nationwide or regional; Ms. Massey thinks regional but not sure. Mr. Gerrard read from the affidavit and asked does Mr. Clearwater’s statement mean they have no violations in any of there facilities. Mr. Steinmetz said the affidavit speaks for itself. Mr. Gerrard asked about the compliance status of Engelhard in Westchester. Mr. Steinmetz said Allied did not conduct an investigation of Engelhard. Mr. Gerard asked several questions referring to the statements in Mr. Clearwater’s affidavit and Engelhard’s operations. Mr. Steinmetz and Ms. Massey indicated a lack of specific knowledge of Engelhard’s operation. Mr. Gerard said the affidavit strikes him as hearsay and with
Mr. Clearwater’s absence to answer questions its probative value is quite limited. It is of limited utility to the Village Board in this matter. Mr. Gerrard said we only know that Engelhard generates hazardous waste and there is no evidence that it was not part of what was delivered to Metro Enviro. Mr. Steinmetz said he has provided a sworn statement saying that the material was non-hazardous material; he is not relying on supposition as he thinks the Village is. He has no subpoena power. Mr. Gerrard said his letter of 12/11/02 was also not responded to. Mr. Steinmetz said he had begun assembling a response but once he received the draft of the Findings, and based on discussion with Mr. Gerrard, he decided to respond in these proceedings rather than in the letter. Allied will be providing additional information to answer the 12/11 inquiry. Mr. Gerrard asked about internal waste audits.
Ms. Meket was sworn in and responded; it is the customer’s profile with Allied – identifies what each produces in the way of industrial waste and further refines the definition of the materials with the customer. The customers agree to sign and certify that that is what is being picked up. The audit looks at current customers since her study started in March 2002, not prior. Two Allied customers were identified as generating hazardous waste but they have not delivered to Metro Enviro. There is no audit of Engelhard because they are not a current customer. Since April 2002, no longer a customer. Mr. Gerrard asked about the circumstances for ending the relationship. Ms. Meket said that Allied got a letter from Engelhard saying they (Engelhard) wished to terminate the relationship.
She started in Sept.2002 and implemented the audit at that time. Mr. Gerrard asked for information about current and former employees of Allied who authorized or had knowledge of the Engelhard shipments. Mr. Steinmetz said they had previously responded with this information and have no further information. Mr. Gerrard asked if there have been any other shipments of industrial waste received by Metro Enviro; Mr. Steinmetz said not to his knowledge. Mr. Gerrard asked if Mr. Steinmetz wished to modify his statement in his letter to Mayor Elliott in which he stated that the DEC had not cited Engelhard as a hazardous waste generator. Mr. Steinmetz said he did not believe so at the time of the 10/11/02 letter but now knows this was so as a result of Mr. Gerrard’s information that there was a citation on 10/02/02 by the DEC. Mr. DiNapoli said he asked the DEC in the summer if there were any violations from Engelhard of hazardous waste regulations and
was told there were none. However, they acknowledge that Engelhard are generators. Mr. Gerrard asked for a copy of the training audit that Mr. Altobelli refused to turn over. Mr. Steinmetz said he can’t give a definitive response; will take under advisement and will respond as quickly as possible. Mr. Gerrard asked for a copy of the employee-training log to which Mr. Steinmetz replied that they had already made available to Mr. Gerrard’s colleagues all training logs.
Mr. Altobelli was sworn in (again) and said he has provided what he had. He was asked if he can he provide the log for Metro Enviro to the village. He said he would do it. Referring to the CLD landfill in Green township in Ohio, Mr. Gerrard asked if this was the ultimate destination of Engelhard load; yes. Mr. Steinmetz said he understands it is a licensed facility. Mr. Gerrard stated that it appears that Ohio regulations make it impermissible to accept such waste. Mr. Steinmetz said this was an issue for Ohio; there was expert evidence presented tonight that Ohio has a differing definition about this type of waste. Mr. Gerrard said he was trying to get to whether shipping to the Ohio location was another violation. Mr. Steinmetz responded that Metro Enviro was not cited for any such violation and
there was no health, safety or welfare danger to the citizens of Croton. The DEC permit has the requirement that loads be shipped to a licensed facility. Mr. Gerrard asked if he will look into whether the Ohio facility should have accepted it or Metro Enviro should have shipped it to them. Mr. Steinmetz will do the best he can; will try to answer your question under Ohio law. In his letter of 11/25/02, Mr. Gerrard asked for copies of safety audits since March 2000; were there any safety violations. Mr. Altobelli said he is not aware of any; there are daily safety inspections/reviews – the physical records of these can be provided. Mr. Gerrard then asked Mr. Salesky questions on the report received today.
Page 1 – Mr. Saleski said Metro Enviro first became aware of accepting unacceptable waste in June through the federal monitor. Mr. Gerrard is confused because the 10/02/02 letter from Mr. Steinmetz identified many Metro Enviro employees who knew about these unacceptable shipments starting in 2001. Ms. Massey said it was in June 02 that they learned, Metro Enviro and Allied, that these shipments might become an issue in the monitor’s review; the employees may not have realized that acceptance of non- C and D was industrial waste; Mr. Mack believes that Allied//Metro Enviro should have know prior to that date. At that time Allied immediately conducted a thorough investigation and immediately contacted the Village with the information.
Page 2 – Information was provided only about first 18 loads. Mr. Steinmetz said the other information on the remaining 24 loads was provided at later time – broken down by location not dates; will provide it with dates.
Page 3 – On the capacity exceedence issue and the Special Permits anticipation of greater amounts. The DEC permit allows up to 1000/day if rail siding installed and a request for such an increase has been made. The DEC letter of 02/02 didn’t authorize higher than an average of 700 tons per day. The amount is 4,200 per week, 700 average per day, said Mr. DiNapoli.
Intermission for a break. At 11:04 the meeting resumed.
Mr. Gerrard asked about the landfill in Ohio that received the shipments. Are they aware of violations (30 at that facility for accepting unacceptable waste)? Mr. Steinmetz stated that Allied is since they provided the information – the facility is owned by Allied as well. Mr. Gerrard stated that the O and M manual has undergone several amendments but the original error having to do with tires under hazardous and industrial waste has remained. Mr. Steinmetz said this was true but he has mark ups of a first draft by his partner, Mr. Zarin, that show that tires should not have been included on that list. Mr. Gerrard asked about the refrigerators; does anyone know the status of them when received by Allied? Mr. Steinmetz said that neither was in working condition, one was without a compressor,
the other had one; were crushed on the floor; the DEC cited them for ‘mishandling’. Mr. Altobelli said the ‘mishandling’ had to do with the way the refrigerators were handled on the pad.
Page 4 – Mr. Gerrard said the report denies any leachate evades the leachate collection system; the DEC report mentions runoff from some trucks at the south end not being collected into tanks. Mr. Steinmetz said that did occur on that day and the DEC put a note on their inspection report – no violation issued. Mr. Gerrard asked how often Metro Enviro tests the surface water. Mr. Altobelli said the O and M manual requires it quarterly; to be done in the retention area. Mr. Gerrard asked for copies of all sampling reports since March 2000. This was agreed to.
Page 5 – on training. Mr. Steinmetz said any failures have been insignificant. Mr. Gerrard asked if adequate training wouldn’t have helped avoid the acceptance of the materials. Mr. Steinmetz said no; it was a failure to have the necessary culture and mechanisms to guarantee it doesn’t happen; it should not have occurred but it was not due to failure to train properly. Mr. Steinmetz and Mr. Gerrard engaged in a discussion about the Village’s powers to act and whether they depend on proving health, safety and welfare impacts. Mr. Steinmetz is not claiming the Village is powerless to act; they have acted. Mr. Gerrard asked if Metro Enviro had been inspected by OSHA. Mr. Steinmetz said apparently not. Mr. Gerrard asked if Mr. Steinmetz agreed that the Federal monitorship is due to
environmental noncompliance. Ms. Massey said yes but it commenced before Allied owned the facilities in Westchester County; it resulted from a criminal proceeding against Suburban Carting. Mr. Gerrard asked when did Mr. Altobelli start work for Allied; Mr. Altobelli replied in July 2000 but not as Safety and Compliance manager; first he was compliance manager before September 2002, he was not involved with Metro Enviro until early 2002. Mr. Gerrard reviewed the various personnel holding different positions.
Page 6 – Mr. Gerrard confirmed that two persons at Metro Enviro remain at Allied from the time of the violations; he went over the personnel who were employed at the time but are no longer employed by Metro Enviro or Allied. Mr. Gerrard said earlier Village Board minutes indicate Mr. Hickey was terminated for cause, but Ms. Massey said tonight he was not terminated for cause. Ms Massey replied that Mr. Hickey had been on a disability leave for some period time prior to leaving Allied and had not been involved for some time. Mr. Gerrard asked Mr. Johnson about the destination of the leachate tank contents; Mr. Johnson said the Passaic Valley Treatment Plant. How often? Approximately 4 times per year, whenever it is full or near full; partly a function of precipitation. Ms. Massey said
that prior to Mr. Johnson, Darren Rizzo held his position for a short period of time. Mr. Gerrard asked Mr. Barber about his opinion that Metro Enviro was well run; how many times has he visited. Twice in the two weeks of January 2003. Mr. Gerrard asked if that is sufficient to make that judgment; Mr. Barber said yes along with the review of the records –he listed the records and documents he read – and the meetings he had with individuals from Metro Enviro and Allied and some people at Engelhard. Mr. Gerrard asked if in the past 19 years he has been exclusively in the solid waste industry; he responded yes and also several years prior. Mr. Gerrard stated that some material from Engelhard was municipal solid waste (MSW); yes. Is Metro Enviro authorized to receive it; no. Mr. Gerrard asked Mr. Saleski if his compensation being tied to compliance and LOVs (lack of violations) was true at the time of violations occurring? No
one knew the answers. What about at the time of tonnage exceedences – same answer. How long has this policy of tying them together for compensation purposes been the Allied policy? Mr. Saleski said BFI had a similar policy but he can’t answer for Allied prior to his employment. Mr. Gerrard asked if he knew if anyone at Metro Enviro or Allied been penalized in any way as a result of violations. Mr. Saleski was not aware of anyone. Mr. Gerrard asked if it were in the form of deductions or a bonus; Mr. Saleski said it would be in the form of a bonus. Mr. Gerrard asked what percentage his bonus could be based on base salary; Mr. Saleski said it could be up to 50% of base. Mr. Gerrard asked if they were aware of any facilities permitted to take solid waste in addition to C and D in the area; maybe Karta in Peekskill and Allied Mamaroneck facility. Mr. Gerard said he looks forward to receiving the answers and documentation he has requested.
Trustee McCarthy asked to speak with Mr. Gerrard prior to asking her questions. There was a break from 11:42 to 11:56.
Trustee McCarthy asked Mr. Johnson about incidental unauthorized waste statements that he made; have you ever seen this type of waste at this station; he said no. Have you seen unauthorized waste that didn’t make it to the floor; yes. What have you seen in the containment areas: appliances, a refrigerator. Do you know if the compressor was in it and the Freon removed; no. What do you define as municipal solid waste; what it is in terms of Metro Enviro is minimal amounts of putrescent materials – usually a workers lunch.; it is pulled out and put into a containment truck which is taken away daily. When did you start visiting the Metro Enviro facility; on 12/16/02. How often does Metro Enviro dispose of tires; they are now on site no longer than 24 hours. How long are appliances on
site; they can be there for up to 30 days depending on the materials they are made of. If you are the General Manager of the site and know the rules why can’t you answer the questions? Who is subcontractor to remove these materials, he doesn’t know yet all the names of subcontractors. Trustee Schmidt said he was confused, he thought the load was looked at on the floor before the truck left. Mr. Johnson said it depends on whether it was a third party hauler and also sometimes the material is buried at the bottom of the load on the floor; they don’t require the truck to stay until the load is fully examined unless it is one of the random loads that is fully inspected Trustee McCarthy asked what the procedure is for examining the contents; Mr. Johnson described how the equipment is used to move the materials around to spread it and people on the floor look at it then as well. Trustee McCarthy asked if drains on the concrete pad are blocked is
it permissible to operate; he replied that it would be a violation of Allied’s and DEC’s procedures. Was he aware of any situation where drains were blocked or frozen; no. When do you use the misting system to suppress dust in the building; he said when employees can see that there is dust in the area – more likely to happen in dry conditions. If drains were frozen would it be permissible for you to continue to operate; he said it would be a violation of the inspection it would be addressed by scraping them and opening the drain holes. Are there other systems that you use in winter to compensate for not being able to use the misting system. Mr. Johnson said they are not unable to use the misting system, he doesn’t know of that ever happening, has seen it functioning in the winter. Trustee McCarthy said the Village has been told it cannot be used in winter because it freezes and creates ice on the floor; he said it can be used. How often do you visit at
Metro Enviro, about 3 times a week for a couple of hours each time; sometimes after receiving hours; he is also in communication by phone, two-way radio, and through superiors and subordinates. Who is in charge of the tipping floor; it is Jose Sanchez who is also an equipment operator. Was he an employee of Metro Enviro at the time of the acceptance of the Engelhard loads; Mr. Johnson said he doesn’t know. Was Mr. Sanchez ever asked about these loads; he said he can’t answer that – doesn’t know. Trustee McCarthy asked Mr. Barber if the misting system is an environmental safeguard; yes. On your two visits how long were you there; on the first visit – about 3 hours, today about 6 hours. How long at the tipping floor; he answered about one hour and he also observed from the gate house. How many trucks did you see tipping; 3 or 4. Ms. Massey said Mr. Barber has had limited time since the Findings draft was provided. Ms. McCarthy said does
that mean his recommendation is limited; No. Trustee McCarthy asked Mr. Barber about the layout of the facility. He described the way in and way out. When was the concrete road-narrower on the right side of the road was installed; he doesn’t know. Were you aware that Metro Enviro didn’t weigh every truck? Ms. McCarthy stated that Mr. Lindenmueller said this was true in 2001. Mr. Barber had no knowledge of that. Trustee McCarthy asked about the day that exceeded 1000 tons. Mr. Barber said that to reach the amount of overage in excess of 1000 tons would require about 5 more trucks. Are you a traffic expert; no. Did you do a traffic analysis here; no. What is the purpose of the concrete walls around the pad; it keeps the waste contained and not pushed into the walls of the building. Does the height of the walls need to be consistent with the amount of the materials that could be accepted; yes, but some facilities are given permits
in phases. Mr. Steinmetz asked if she is asking about the push walls or building walls; the concrete walls – push pad walls. Trustee McCarthy asked if Mr. Barber knew if the concrete walls are high enough to accept 1000 tons /day; no. Trustee McCarthy asked Mr. Barber if he saw anything that indicated the facility was accepting more than it could handle and if material exceeded the height of the wall would that be an indication that it was accepting more than it could handle; he said not necessarily, depends on the operation of the facility. Trustee McCarthy asked if he was aware that there are times when the material has exceeded the height of the wall; he stated he has no knowledge of that. Are you aware that the pad has not always been cleaned at 30-day intervals; he has no knowledge of that. What inspection reports did you review; the DEC inspections primarily, from March 2000 until present. Ms. McCarthy said she had asked Mr. Steinmetz at
previous times about Engelhard loads but you said they wouldn’t talk to you. Why did they change their minds, what made them talk with you. Mr. Steinmetz said the draft Findings made him and Ms. Massey ask Mr. Mack for his help in facilitating this meeting with Mr. Clearwater of Engelhard. Why wasn’t the Village invited; Ms. Massey stated there was no reason. Trustee McCarthy asked who drafted the affidavit – Ms. Massey said an Allied representative. Trustee McCarthy asked if it was a legal representative from Allied? Ms. Massey yes. Trustee McCarthy asked for the drafts; Ms. Massey will take it under advisement. Did Ms. Massey have discussion with Engelhard legal representatives; yes she did both at the meeting and afterwards. Can you tell us what was discussed; Ms. Massey said it was about the percentage of industrial waste to total volume and the role the Federal monitor might play in reviewing communications between Allied
and Engelhard; Mr. Mack reviewed the draft affidavit. Trustee McCarthy asked Mr. Steinmetz is Mr. Saleski’s position is the same as Mr. Hickey’s. He said he believes it is one of the positions that has been separated – i.e. responsibilities are separated now to avoid conflicts. Ms. McCarthy said she is confused by the statement that Mr. Hickey may not have known it was industrial waste since Mr. Marino told him this waste was not permitted, would you ask Mr.Marino; yes. Trustee McCarthy stated that Mr. Hickey was out on leave during the time when the additional shipments came in, who took over his duties during this time; the District manager. Ms. McCarthy stated that Mr. Hickey had directed that the Engelhard loads be redirected to Mt. Kisco, but loads still came into Metro Enviro after he was out on disability leave; who was directing these loads to Metro Enviro. Mr. Steinmetz asked if there was a nexus between what she was asking about personnel and
the draft Findings statement. Trustee McCarthy said all the information provided about shipments applies to these proceedings. Ms. Massey said they would see what can be found out and will let the Village know. Trustee McCarthy asked Mr. Barber if he had reviewed records of violation; yes, both the DEC’s and some of the Village’s.
Trustee Wiegman asked about the Inspection reporting and how it travels up the chain of command according to Mr. Johnson. When was this established; Mr. Johnson said it predates him – about mid 2001. Trustee Wiegman asked who instituted this; Mr. DiNapoli said is was an Allied corporate procedure. Was this also a procedure in BFI; yes. Were these inspection reporting procedures of BFI continued; no, Allied developed their own procedures. Trustee Wiegman stated that this meant there was a period during which there were no inspection reports during 2001. On storm water drainage issues, there have been some changes at the site since the initial approval, can we see the drainage drawings, Site plan information, etc. MSW arrived at Metro Enviro from Engelhard – where did it go after Metro
Enviro? Mr. Barber said it was mixed with industrial waste and of less potential risk than the Industrial Waste. Mr. Saleski said no one here today knows exactly what happen to it. Mr. Wiegman asked if there was any way of confirming this; no. Is the CLD facility in Ohio authorized to accept MSW’ Mr. DiNapoli said no. He asked the same question about recycled material; Mr. DiNapoli said no, if it was not segregated, it would likely have gone off with the other material. Mr. Steinmetz said the Metro Enviro facility is the only exclusively C and D facility in Westchester County. He doesn’t know the answer about the authorizations of the CLD facility in Ohio.
Trustee Grant stated she had never been concerned about the mechanics of what goes at Metro Enviro. She had been confident that the work done by the Citizens Committee had protected us. The place could have run as a well-run operation, but now we have a three -year history of data that shows that it wasn’t. Regarding the Engelhard loads, we have a situation where a truck owned by Allied picked up material and brought it to Metro Enviro, also owned by Allied and not allowed to accept this material, and Metro Enviro sent it to the Ohio facility, also owned by Allied also not allowed to accept this material, and Allied also redirected future shipments from Engelhard to the Mt. Kisco facility, also owned by Allied and not allowed to take the material. Metro Enviro hasn’t been operated the way it could have been
operated. There is a loss of trust. She is sure that the new people are all intent on doing the right job now, but it wasn’t done in past. Mr. Steinmetz said the Village Board does not have empirical data and if you have it you better let him know what it is.
Trustee Schmidt said the Village’s law says that after three violations a special permit can be revoked. Mr. Steinmetz said this was an incorrect reading of the special permit law. Trustee Schmidt asked if anything ever goes back out with the truck; yes, unacceptable waste goes back to the generator. What percentage; Mr. Johnson couldn’t say. Is there anything on the containers that says what can go in them; - Ms. Meket said no because these containers are not always used for the same purposes, but at the time of contracting with a customer, they are apprised of the rules; a lot of time is spent educating the contractors and they sign off on their understanding of the rules. Trustee Schmidt asked Mr. Steinmetz if he feels Allied has followed the law in its operation of the facility; what took Allied so long to
get to the right staff that you now have and why not two years ago. Mr. Steinmetz asked the Village to look at the concept of rehabilitation and cure.
Trustee McCarthy asked Mr. Barber if he had ever assisted in designing a transfer station; yes. Has he reviewed calculations having to do with capacity for tonnages; how many times, no answer.. Did he do that type of analysis for Metro Enviro; no. Do we know how many loads from Engelhard contained MSW; no. How does Engelhard know? The Engelhard people said the waste got mixed together in the large container picked up by Allied. How many transfer stations accept C and D; don’t know for sure, one in Mamaroneck, Mt. Kisco, Karta – there may be others.
3. CITIZEN PARTICIPATION:
Richard Pellicci 65 Radnor It’s been an education. He drives a convertible so he has a good sense of dust and debris from trucks. There are violations of trucks on streets they shouldn’t be on, license plates that can’t be followed up on, etc. Metro Enviro is in violation, plain and simple, who cares what was in them – it is a violation. Do previous residents’ complaints constitute evidence? Mr. Gerrard said oral testimony is evidence. He is thankful for Maria Cudequest.
Roger Solymosy , Old Post Road North. He has some observations on tonight - great dog and pony show. Mr. Johnson hired to create a culture of compliance implies that there was none before 12/02 but it is a good phrase. Metro Enviro has only promises for the future to do better. Training hasn’t worked very well in the past, once again, promises for the future. Mr. Barber has been working on compliance issues for the three largest waste companies – probably one is Allied, so he is not so independent as said in the introduction. These materials are sitting in the CSX rail yard for a lengthy period of time – off-site but not out of Croton. Long-term employees are retrained but how many are there more than a year? He heard that willingness and intent to comply is their business – neither is
worth much in his opinion. Mr. Steinmetz wants empirical data – the definition says it is guided by experience and observation, not data alone. The most important issue is traffic according to Mr. Steinmetz. We know that they had done a survey and said only 5 pickup trucks came down Route 129. He personally tested this and followed some trucks down 129, they turned at Municipal Place and then got on Route 9 south and thus came off Route 9 to enter Metro Enviro. His data is not scientific, but there is a significant alteration in traffic in the Village. Ms. McCarthy didn’t ask the right question at the time about if customers were told not to come down 129; should have asked if haulers were told. He stated he felt Mr. Steinmetz treated the Village Board in a highhanded way.
Bob Wintermeier, Radnor Ave. He thanked Trustee Grant for bringing focus to the issue. The real problem is violation, violation, violation. He mentioned some incidents that were hazardous to Croton, the fire, refrigerator Freon, tire storage accumulating water. He was worried about on-site accountability – the person is constantly changing. Who gets fired if something happens again? Metro Enviro is like giving a loaded gun to a child – it has danger associated with it – can only be handled with training; the high turnover makes it hard to believe that training is either adequate or continuous. Are there other things that could be done there? Are employees tested to see if they are up to date on procedures and equipment? On the compensation package, he wants to know what percentage
Mr. Saleski gets for lack of violations and what percent for other things – like sales. Is Mr. Hickey still receiving disability compensation and why Allied would terminate him for a disability?
Maria Cudequest, 84 Grand Street. She is not surprised by Allied’s response to the findings. She asked that if the tape cannot be re-shown, that the full transcript be made available without cost to those interested in it. Mr. Gerrard is a thing of beauty and he was worth his fees after listening to him tonight, thanks to Trustees Schmidt, McCarthy and Wiegman. Can the Village obtain a list of haulers who handle Allied’s SW and MSW needs? Allied was fined $3 million for violations in Boston (of the Clean Air Clean Water Act). Metro Enviro is not permitted to accept SW whether or not it is hazardous. On the assertions that some haulers will be hurt financially – too bad, we’ve paid our dues, there are other places to go. If Trustees had listened, there would never be a Metro Enviro. She
listed why this is a bad industry to have here. Their license with both the DEC and the County have expired and have not been renewed as far as she knows. Metro Enviro takes too much time from Village business. Examine the evidence and shut the place down.
Pat Cartelemi, Triple A Carting. 850 tons of C and D must go to other facilities which mostly cannot accept it or very much of it – where is it supposed to go. What do you do with you tires now? Manager Herbek was not sure. At RESCO , the tires sit out in open containers in the rain. TVs and computers – in the past you didn’t do what you were supposed to do, now you do – changes have to be made. People put things in containers that they shouldn’t. At Metro Enviro they take these things out and separate and return them.
Don Daubney, Bungalow Road. If a person commits crime, gets caught, and found guilty, they get a punishment. Despite promises to do better, they still get the punishment. Metro Enviro hasn’t gotten better. He has faith that the correct thing will be done.
David Tuttle, 94 Grand Street. When he goes to the train at 7:30 am, trucks ar often parked in front of Jean-Jacques. He is guessing that no residents of Croton are employed by Metro Enviro, other than taxes, there is no financial gain for the Village. Feels bad for carters but doesn’t think any of them are residents either. The facility doesn’t benefit us in any way. Don’t let history repeat itself. You do react to what the community says – that is your job. We are your watch dogs. He still doesn’t see anything in the record about the snow blower incident. They did take apiece of machinery in violation and because it caught on fire, we know it was filled with fluids. People risked their lives to fight the fire. Requests that the transcript be posted on the web
site as soon as possible as no one can hear the audio of this meeting. Allied paid $50k to the Village – this is not a substantial fine for such a large company. We need to have finances for possible remediation if they are shut down; another fine should be considered; can’t be certain that there was no Freon in the refrigerators that were brought into Metro Enviro. Do they test around the leachate tank for leakage? Metro Enviro is not productive, not lawful, not a good neighbor and not reliable.
Pat Cartelemi, Triple A Carting. Oil trucks go through Croton, how does Kayson get their cars delivered, by trucks. Drivers stop in delis. We (haulers) are licensed – pay a lot of money for the licenses.
Doug DeMarchis, 279 Albany Post Road. He is an electrician and he said Jimmy Hickey used to let them dispose of materials for free on Saturdays. He is a 7-year resident who moved from Yonkers where they had an incinerator. He is a contractor in the area and Metro Enviro is vital to him to bring his debris. The garbage people say they see on the street is from many people not a single truck.
Mayor Elliott stated that the Village will accept written comments up to January 24th. There will a Special Board meeting on January 27th.
Trustee McCarthy said that no trucks are to be prked on Croton Point Avenue in front of Jean Jacques before 9 am. She asked Mr. Barber what percentage of his business is Allied. He said less than 50%; between 30% and 40%.
Mayor Elliott closed the Public Hearing except for written comments up to Jan 24th.Mr. Steinmetz asked for a formal acknowledgement that if the Findings are adopted, the Village would allow Metro Enviro to remain open for a time so it can seek injunctive relief.
The meeting was adjourned at 2:17 am on Thursday, January 16th on a motion by Trustee Schmidt seconded by Trustee Grant and approved unanimously.
Ann H. Gallelli, Secretary