Connecticut Attorney General's Office

Press Release

Attorney General Asks Court To Compel Clean Up Of North Branford Junkyard, Will Seek Owner's Imprisonment If He Refuses

July 22, 2009

Attorney General Richard Blumenthal today asked a Superior Court judge to compel clean up of a North Branford junkyard and will seek the owner's imprisonment if he refuses.

Blumenthal filed the action against owner Joseph Salg on behalf of acting Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Amy Marella.

In 2003, Salg signed an agreement with Blumenthal's office and the DEP to remove debris and waste from his junkyard at 743 Forest Road and pay an $8,000 fine. Salg made some efforts to comply with the 2003 agreement, but junk and waste again began accumulating at the junkyard. Blumenthal's office will ask the court to jail Salg if he fails to clean up the site.

Blumenthal said, "This junkyard is an environmental nightmare, strewn with tree stumps, old tires, derelict vehicles, scrap metal and other waste. This owner may be failing to properly dispose of vehicle fluids and other contaminating chemical-laden trash, possibly imperiling groundwater and wells. He is junking the law as well as the environment.

"I will fight for imprisonment and fines -- and immediate clean up. This contempt for the court and law are both an insult and injury to all citizens. This junkyard threatens the environment and health. Inaction is unacceptable."

Yvonne Bolton, Chief of DEP's Bureau of Material Management and Compliance Assurance, said, "This type of total disregard of the environmental regulations of the state of Connecticut is unacceptable and will not be tolerated. Mr. Salg has had numerous opportunities to bring his facility into compliance but has essentially chosen to ignore all orders and judgments instructing him to do so. Working with the Attorney General and local officials we aim to send a clear message to Mr. Salg as well as all other operators of these types of facilities in our state -- ignore the environmental laws of Connecticut and pay the price in court."