A Farmingville man who owns a concrete construction company was arrested and charged this week after, prosecutors said, he illegally dumped solid waste onto the Suffolk County Nature Preserve in Yaphank.
Ludovino Correia, 54, owner of Sunshine of East Coast Inc. in Medford, which is adjacent to the preserve, illegally dumped 200 cubic yards of solid waste there, said a release from Suffolk District Attorney Timothy Sini’s office.
Correia is also accused of illegally removing trees from the property as well as storing equipment, heavy machinery and several 55-gallon barrels of concrete form oil that leaked, the release said.
The cost to remediate the damage Correia’s company caused at the preserve is $178,719, according to an analysis by the county’s Parks Department, Sini said in the release.
Correia was arrested Monday and charged with second-degree criminal mischief, unlawful disposal of solid waste, fourth-degree endangering the public health, safety, or the environment and trespassing, officials said.
He was arraigned Monday at First District Court in Central Islip and was released on his own recognizance, officials said. He is due back in court Dec. 4.
Correia’s attorney could not be reached Wednesday night.
“Suffolk County’s parks are not a dumping ground. Period,” Sini said, adding that cracking down on environmental crime is a top priority for his office.
Correia’s company came under scrutiny from authorities after a fire at the preserve in April.
The Brookhaven Town Fire Marshal notified law enforcement of suspected illegal activity at Correia’s business, officials said.
In May, several agencies conducted site inspections at Correia’s company including the environmental crime team with Sini’s office, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Suffolk’s departments of health services and parks, along with the Brookhaven Town Fire Marshal, officials said.
The investigation determined that Correia illegally dumped about 200 cubic yards of solid waste of asphalt, brick, tile, plastic, glass, metal, lumber and concrete at the preserve, prosecutors said.
Basil Seggos, New York’s Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Conservation said in the statement: “We are going after bad actors and with the assistance of Suffolk County District Attorney Sini and his office to hold these illegal dumpers accountable and protect public health and the environment.”
By Antonio Planas