For Immediate Release
April 20, 2010
Assistant Attorney General Daniel J. Licata
Attorney General Michael Delaney and Commissioner Thomas S. Burack of the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services ("DES") announce that the Sullivan County Superior Court has approved a settlement between DES and James Bonia d/b/a Tri-State Car Crushing, an automotive salvage yard on Route 10, Lempster, New Hampshire. The settlement resolves violations of the State's solid waste, hazardous waste, and groundwater protection statutes and regulations.
The case arose when the State filed a lawsuit against Mr. Bonia on April 15, 2008 seeking a preliminary and permanent injunction and civil penalties. In its lawsuit, the State alleged that Mr. Bonia violated State laws by operating an unpermitted solid waste facility, improperly managing and storing hazardous wastes and regulated substances, failing to report and clean up spills of hazardous wastes and regulated substances, failing to protect monitoring wells from being damaged or buried, and failing to perform groundwater monitoring as previously agreed.
Under the terms of the settlement, Mr. Bonia is required to pay a civil penalty of one hundred and fourteen thousand (114,000.00) dollars. Twenty-four thousand (24,000.00) dollars of the penalty will be paid to the State in installments beginning on June 1, 2010. Ninety thousand (90,000.00) dollars of the penalty will be suspended for a period of ten years on the conditions that Mr. Bonia does not violate the terms of the settlement or any State or federal environmental statute or regulation. The settlement also requires Mr. Bonia to obtain a groundwater management permit from DES, in order to monitor and manage related groundwater contamination, and to remediate lead contamination on the site. Finally, the settlement requires Mr. Bonia to set aside a total of forty-two thousand (42,000.00) dollars in an escrow account, over the course of five years, to pay for unannounced third-party quarterly inspections of the site. These inspections are to ensure that Tri-State Car Crushing remains in compliance with best management practices for auto salvage yards, and if new violations arise, that they are reported to DES in a timely fashion.
Attorney General Michael stated, "By this settlement, this office sends a message that it will continue to pursue violations of environmental laws at auto salvage facilities that endanger public health and the environment." DES Commissioner Tom Burack said, "This settlement holds Mr. Bonia accountable for his past and current violations of the state's environmental laws and deters him and others from committing future violations."
Copies of the settlement agreement are available upon request.
New Hampshire Department of Justice | 33 Capitol Street | Concord, NH | 03301