Has rumor run amok or is there something fishy going on?

Has rumor run amok or is there something fishy going on?

For the past few weeks, Dansville residents have been expressing concerns over the cleanup of a former junkyard on Allen Street. But an investigation by New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has determined that the trash there is being legally exposed.

The Allen Street junk has consisted of scrap metal, tires, concrete blocks and other assorted trash which was left there for decades. The site had been used as a nursery, a loading area for D&M Railroad, and a pipe and supply company which had become more or less a junkyard. Today the property is owned by Jay Griffith, who is also a village trustee.

A Morse Street resident who wishes to remain anonymous, told the Express that he was suspicious of how the trash and soil were being discarded, and followed the dump truck to the village’s Poags Hole dump site. There, he saw the truck dispose its contents into a ditch on a weekday, which is during the site’s off hours. Its hours are Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The Poags Hole site is suited for organic materials only, and not for any other type of trash.

While he admitted that he was not absolutely certain whether there was non-organic trash dumped into or from the truck, he was concerned that the soil could possibly be contaminated from oils and whatnot from the junkyard.

After having heard that several complaints of this nature were made to Department of Environmental Conservation, the Express sent two inquiries via email to the New York State DEC Region 8 office in Avon. Linda Vera, DEC regional citizen participation specialist said in both replies, on Oct. 9 and 11, that the DEC was unaware of illegal dumping.

“DEC has not had any recent complaints and is not aware of any issues at Poags Hole or Allen St. There were dumping issues several years ago at the village-owned dump site,” Vera said in the Oct. 11 email. “The Region 8 DEC law enforcement unit is unaware of any material from the Allen St. property being taken to Poags Hole.”

At least one complaint, from Dennis Cox of Dansville, was made to Livingston County 911 center. After the Express called Livingston County’s 911 administrative line to ask how the call was fielded, it was learned that a DEC officer was made aware of the complaint, but DEC spills response technician Paul Lindenfelser, who mainly works out of the Bath office, was in the area and went to check on the property.

Lindenfelser said by phone last week that he was made aware of three concerns between Sept. 28 and Oct. 18 on the property.

He personally visited the Allen Street site on Sept. 28 and witnessed the loading of brush into a dump truck. He looked at the soil for discoloration or any other hints of contamination, as well as odors, and said there was nothing of concern.

The southern half of the property had already been cleared and leveled by the time he arrived, he said. The northern part was being worked on, and he saw that the brush and junk had been separated.

He also checked the Poags Hole site on Oct. 18, and said there was not anything out of the ordinary, and no cause for alarm.

Lindenfelser also said that he felt comfortable that village of Dansville Public Works Superintendent Scott Tracy was on site keeping an eye on what was being unloaded. Tracy was at the Allen Street and Poags Hole sites at the same days as Lindenfesler.

Phone calls to Griffith for comment earlier this week were unsuccessful.