“We’re thrilled with this letter, it verifies everything that we’ve been saying,” said Emily Svenson, an attorney that has been petitioning state government to shut down the dumps on behalf of environmental activism group Catskill Mountainkeeper. “We don’t know exactly what will happen next. The Karolyses could challenge this violation, there could be some additional interaction with DEC. I’m not sure how this will play out, but it’s a step in the right direction.”
The town of Saugerties, driven by concerns voiced by neighbors about noise caused by truck traffic in and out of the four sites and about the possibility of harmful chemicals getting into surrounding well water, has been trying to halt the operations in court, but is still waiting for a ruling from state Supreme Court Justice Richard Mott. The DEC says the operation has been in violation of its dumping rules since 2016 and town officials say Karolys’ dumps are breaking the town law to boot. Karolys hasn’t taken this lying down — he’s filed a notice of claim in state Supreme Court, reserving his right to sue the town for, among other things, defamation and violating his rights to use his property.