Government & Corporate Investigations
The Town of Carmel’s “decision to dump mounds of asphalt millings eight feet high near the … shore [of Lake Mahopac]” sparked an Investigation by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (the “DEC”)1. That’s because a January 2019 DEC ruling prohibited the use of asphalt milling as fill in the state of New York. The Town brought the millings to the lakeside property “to fill in the low spots” and to raise the level of the land, which often floods.
However, asphalt millings contain compounds that have caused cancer in laboratory animals. So when it rains, stormwater may carry those compounds into local water bodies and beyond, potentially causing contamination and negative environmental or health impacts. This is especially concerning to Town residents, environmentalists, and the DEC because Lake Mahopac provides drinking water for about 450 households.
Here, the Town’s seemingly innocuous decision about where to store excess asphalt millings from road resurfacing jobs may now lead to a costly investigation, expansive remediation, fine, or even litigation. Handling government investigations can be complex, but the right knowledge and experience can help mitigate the damage. That’s because some problems can be avoided when you know where to look and can see issues coming. Whether it’s a local municipality, a small business, a homeowner, or a developer, seeking advice early can be critical to identifying, avoiding, or mitigating environmental liability, and to responding to government investigations when they arise.
DISCLAIMER: This blog is made available by the lawyer/law firm for educational purposes only. Except as expressly provided to the contrary in a signed writing, all materials provided on this website, including these blogs, are provided on an “as-is” basis without warranties of any kind, either express or implied. It provides only general information and commentary on the law and/or legal issues in the news. Nothing herein provides specific legal advice. These contents may further constitute Attorney Advertising. By using this website you understand, acknowledge, and agree that there is no attorney client relationship between you and the blog, lawyer, or law firm. The blog posts should not be used as a substitute for legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state.