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Columbia County test case on illegal dumping moves forward, goes to trial on Monday

Dec 02, 2010 11:28 am
HUDSON - Andrew Amelinckx of the Register-Star writes today of a pre-trial hearing that was held in Columbia County Supreme Court yesterday, Dec. 1, for the much-watched case against a Bronx-based waste hauler and his company who authorities say was illegally dumping waste in Clermont. It was decided, in the hearing, that prosecutors will be allowed to bring up several other instances of alleged illegal dumping at other sites if the defendant, Salvatore Cascino, takes the stand in his own defense during the trial that begins Monday, Dec. 6 in Hudson. Cascino, 70, who lives in Westchester County, is facing one count of operating an unpermitted landfill and one count of fourth-degree endangering public health, safety or the environment. Both charges are misdemeanors with the maximum penalty of up to two years in prison... and there are other cases pending, in other courts, that allege Cascino has similarly dumped in Cpake and other locations, as well as use of a false instrument and violation of standing orders. A lawsuit was filed in 2006 in state supreme court by the town supervisor of Copake, which alleged that Cascino, who operates locally under the LLC titles of Copake Valley Farm and 13 Lackawanna Properties, violated the town’s zoning ordinances by spreading waste on farmland. Cascino was found guilty of civil and criminal contempt by the Columbia County State Supreme Court in June 2009 by violating a temporary restraining order brought against him by the town of Copake in November 2006. It was also ruled on Nov. 3 that Cascino violated town zoning law and the building code, with a judge ordering him to dismantle all illegal structures he has erected on his property and to cease all dumping activity there. Successful prosecution of the case is seen as a means of stemming similar use of local properties for dumping, breaking a longstanding vision of our counties, by some, as a wasteland open to any use.

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