February 13, 2013
State Supreme Court Clears Challenge To Tire Pond Cleanup in Hamden, North Haven
Attorney General George Jepsen and state Energy and Environmental Protection Commissioner Daniel C. Esty said that a decision by the state Supreme Court will allow work to continue to close a long-time illegal disposal area known as the “tire pond” in Hamden and North Haven.
The court last week dismissed the challenge filed by Modern Materials Corp., a tenant, which had been ordered by the trial court to leave the property so the cleanup and closure of the site, also ordered by the court, could continue.
This property is owned by Joseph Farricielli and various corporations that he and his wife, Jean Farricielli, own or control. Long used for solid-waste disposal operations, the property borders the Quinnipiac River, abuts tidal marshes and contains a pond, which was used for the unauthorized disposal of approximately 15 million used tires.
Unauthorized and illegal activities on the site have been a concern since the 1970s and the state has been in court since 1999 trying to force the owners to comply with state environmental laws and finally, a court order to remediate and close the site.
“The welfare of the community and environment in Hamden and North Haven are foremost in our minds as we persist in our decade-long effort to safely close the tire pond,” Attorney General Jepsen said. “We are pleased that the Supreme Court agreed that Modern cannot interfere with the court’s order issued to Mr. Farricielli and his related companies to close the pond, and must get out of the way while the state closes the tire pond.“
Commissioner Esty said, “Illegal dumping at this site posed a long-standing and unacceptable threat to the environment and public safety. With the active support of the Attorney General’s Office we have been moving to clean up and restore this property. The court’s decision removes a roadblock to our progress.”
Court orders issued in 2001, 2004 and 2007 provided for the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection to take over the cleanup work due to Farricielli’s failure to close the tire pond. Since then, the department has successfully been constructing a stable cap on the property. The tires are completely covered, but Modern Materials Corp. must move so that final grading, cover and drainage of the closed disposal area can be completed. Once the commissioner issues a notice to move, the company will have 60 days to comply.
Assistant Attorneys General Matthew Levine, Krista Trousdale and Kimberly Massicotte, head of the Environment department, are working with the Attorney General on this case.
The court’s decision is available on the Judicial Department’s website.
View the state's brief here