A Glen Cove salvage yard owner was arrested Monday on charges that he dumped thousands of gallons of toxic automotive fluids into the ground at his property across the street from a field used by youth baseball teams, prosecutors said.
John Doxey, 44, of 41 Woodhollow Ct., Muttontown, pleaded not guilty at his arraignment in First District Court, Hempstead, to 10 counts of third-degree endangering public health, safety or the environment and 10 counts of discharging of pollution -- motor oil, antifreeze and transmission fluid -- into the waters of the state of New York without a permit, prosecutors said.
Judge Colin O'Donnell gave Doxey a conditional release, which means he has to abide by certain conditions to remain free. If convicted, he faces up to 4 years in prison and a fine of up to $75,000 per day for each day of dumping, prosecutors said. His next court date is Wednesday.
"This is a case where the defendant's carelessness and greed resulted in a danger to both humans and wildlife," Nassau District Attorney Kathleen Rice said at a news conference.
His lawyer, John Maccarone, of Glen Cove, did not return calls seeking comment.
Prosecutors said the investigation was initiated after officials received a tip from a person who rented office space in a nearby building.
Beginning in October 2011, Doxey, the owner of 4 Park Place Corp., a salvage yard that dismantles large commercial vehicles such as garbage trucks, dump trucks, tractor trailers and other heavy construction equipment, was seen stripping and dismantling vehicles without draining any of the vehicles' fluid, prosecutors said. Thousands of gallons of toxic automotive fluid were released into the ground, prosecutors said.
Scientific analysis of the property's soil by the Department of Environmental Conservation confirmed high concentrations of petroleum, hydraulic fluid, transmission fluid and antifreeze, authorities said.
Doxey's one-acre property lies just south of the Glen Cove Waterway, next to a former brownfield site that was decontaminated last November and across the street from a youth baseball field, prosecutors said.
Rice said the pollutants had seeped about 15 feet into the soil. She said groundwater, which is about 100 feet below the surface, was not contaminated.