Man Pleads Guilty for Illegally Dumping 60 Million Pounds of Asbestos Debris

Asbestos Dumping Site Classified as Superfund Cleanup Site

September 25, 2009 - After obtaining a false state permit allowing the dumping of asbestos, John Deck, owner of New Jersey-based J.A.D. Inc., had the equivalent of 30,000 tons of asbestos debris dumped at a former dairy farm. After pleading guilty, Deck faces up to 5 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Unfortunately, the dumping site, which exposed residents to an unknown amount of airborne asbestos, is now classified as a Superfund site and could cost taxpayers millions of dollars to clean up.

Deck's company, J.A.D., acted as a truck broker for privately owned haulers-arranging for haulers to transport materials between or to waste facilities. The asbestos containing debris was hauled to the former dairy farm between July and October 2006, until a driver from one of the contracted trucking companies questioned the legitimacy of the dumping site. The site was reported to the EPA that it was not an actual dumping facility but a farmer's field.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) completed interim clean up of the dumping site in 2007, installing a cover over the area to limit potential asbestos exposure, as well as a perimeter fence to prevent access to the area. For residents living near the dumping site, the covering is not sufficient. "I think it's dangerous to even have it there," said Southside Road neighbor Shellilynn Elthorp.

Unfortunately for neighbors of the dumping site, the greatest risk for asbestos exposure occurred in the months leading up to the discovery of the illegal dumping. At this time, there has not been any published data showing the extent of asbestos contamination, but residents are aware that they are now at a greater risk for asbestos related diseases like mesothelioma and asbestos lung cancer due to their exposure. For resident Alice King, the severity of potential long-term side effects from asbestos exposure far outweighs the news of Deck pleading guilty. "So he pleas guilty-whoopee," said King. "What's that going to do? He poisoned the whole ... town."