I Tagline Newsevents
I Newsevents

Milford blasts DEEP over recycling permit

Milford blasts DEEP over recycling permit
Published: Sunday, May 20, 2012
By Brian McCready, Metro Editor New Haven Register

MILFORD – The city lambastes state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection officials in a legal filing, essentially saying they failed to do their job.

The city’s outside legal counsel, David Slossberg of Milford, urged the DEEP to reconsider and act immediately to revoke Recycling Inc.’s tentative approval and dismiss its application.

In a nine-page filing, Slossberg wrote that DEEP, by waiting for the courts to decide who is the owner of the 990 Naugatuck Ave. operation, “leaves Milford citizens at risk and abdicates DEEP’s responsibility, first and foremost, to protect the health and safety of the public.”

The DEEP decided earlier this month to indefinitely suspend Recycling Inc.’s application for an expanded permit because two people last month filed court papers claiming ownership.
Gus Curcio Sr., a felon, and Darlene Chapdelaine, both claiming to own the company. Curcio was sentenced in 1985 to 27 years in federal prison for extortion. He was released after serving 11 years.

DEEP officials have said if Curcio is determined to be the owner, the agency would dismiss Recycling Inc.’s application.

In the city’s legal filing Friday, Slossberg claims Chapdelaine would not be a suitable owner either.

Chapdelaine could not be reached for comment.

If the DEEP performed a competent review of Recycling Inc.’s application, Slossberg wrote, it would have observed that Chapdelaine was involved with the property’s former owners, who were closed down in 2007 by then-Attorney General Richard Blumenthal.

Four other people have a current ownership interest in the property, including Curcio’s wife, according to the city’s filing.
It says Chapdelaine is facing a September trial on assault and breach of peace charges, owes the city $125,000 in back taxes and has used another name in the solid waste field.

Slossberg wrote it appears the DEEP failed to perform any “reasonable investigation” into the property and Chapdelaine’s history.

“If Ms. Chapdelaine had ‘certified’ that she was a trapeze artist, a rocket scientist or a pro football player, DEEP would have accepted those statements as true,” Slossberg wrote.

DEEP spokesman Dennis Schain said the agency will review and assess any and all arguments in motions filed by the city and take “appropriate action.”

Slossberg wrote the DEEP’s conduct has shown “little concern” for city residents.

He added that the DEEP had to be aware of the applicant’s shortcomings because it constantly afforded them time extensions and the opportunity to add information.

Slossberg questioned why DEEP “seems to have bent over backwards for this Applicant in light of all of the obvious problems with the application and the Applicant.

“Instead, DEEP feigned ignorance or passed the buck to others to do its work,” Slossberg wrote.

Residents oppose the recycling operation, citing noise, truck traffic and depreciating property values.