Activist Vincent Ferri disputes DPW letter to DEC about their failure to get permits

Dear Ms. Browne,

 

I’m a very direct person, and must characterize Mr. Viebrock’s, reply as a lie and complete fabrication.

 

The map that I sent you this morning shows the ultimate area of soil disturbance at full buildout. The maps are published widely on a number of facebook pages, architects around the county have confirmed my contention that the activity is illegal, the regional press has been made aware of this situation, and many people are asking where the DEC is.

 

The FACT IS: the foreman on the job site told a local reporter that the work being done on the site was in preparation for the demolition that will follow. That article appeared today in the Goshen Chronicle [please note paragraph 2 of the article that appears here:http://chroniclenewspaper.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=%2F20150406%2FNEWS01%2F150409962%2FWork-begins-on-government-center], and regional, national and International press and media are being notified as I type this message about the County’s disregard for DEC regulations and of their lawlessness.

 

Further, the way the parking lot is barricaded does not facilitate getting machinery and supplies to the other sites as Mr. Viebrock has alleged, and the other sites are already under construction. Additionally, Mr Viebrock has an interest in obfuscating the real situation in an attempt to get ahead of the DEC’s duty to regulate the illegal destruction of a historically significant building. The egress from the parking lot that has been barricaded does not facilitate access to Erie Street, and the area directly behind Division 2 has been prepared for demolition.

 

Ultimately, significantly over 1 acre of soil will be disturbed in the total build out of the OCGC project, and that will take place in conjunction with hugely destructive impacts to an irreplaceable significant historic architectural masterpiece designed by one of America’s most celebrated Twentieth Century Architects. The two conditions cited require the SPDES Permit [on premises at commencement of work of any kind], a SWPPP approved and in place, a Memorandum of Agreement with NYSHPO, the issuance of a NOI and documentation of compliance with section 106 compliance process or a waiver.

 

Finally, I call your attention to the following:

 

 

 

Part VII. STANDARD PERMIT CONDITIONS

 

A. Duty to Comply 

The owner or operator must comply with all conditions of this permit. All contractors and subcontractors associated with the project must comply with the terms of the SWPPP. Any non-compliance with this permit constitutes a violation of the Clean Water Act (CWA) and the ECL and is grounds for an enforcement action against the owner or operator and/or the contractor/subcontractor; permit revocation, suspension or modification; or denial of a permit renewal application. Upon a finding of significant non-compliance with this permit or the applicable SWPPP, the Department may order an immediate stop to all construction activity at the site until the non-compliance is remedied. The stop work order shall be in writing, shall describe the non-compliance in detail, and shall be sent to the owner or operator

 

If any human remains or archaeological remains are encountered during excavation, the owner or operator must immediately cease, or cause to cease, all construction activity in the area of the remains and notify the appropriate Regional Water Engineer (RWE). Construction activity shall not resume until written permission to do so has been received from the RWE. 

 

B. Continuation of the Expired General Permit 

This permit expires five (5) years from the effective date. If a new general permit is not issued prior to the expiration of this general permit, an owner or operator with coverage under this permit may continue to operate and discharge in accordance with the terms and conditions of this general permit, if it is extended pursuant to the State Administrative Procedure Act and 6 NYCRR Part 621, until a new general permit is issued. 

 

C. Enforcement 

Failure of the owner or operator, its contractors, subcontractors, agents and/or assigns to strictly adhere to any of the permit requirements contained herein shall constitute a violation of this permit. There are substantial criminal, civil, and administrative penalties associated with violating the provisions of this permit. Fines of up to $37,500 per day for each violation and imprisonment for up to fifteen (15) years may be assessed depending upon the nature and degree of the offense. 

 

D. Need to Halt or Reduce Activity Not a Defense 

It shall not be a defense for an owner or operator in an enforcement action that it would have been necessary to halt or reduce the construction activity in order to maintain compliance with the conditions of this permit. 

 

 

Q. Penalties for Falsification of Forms and Reports 

In accordance with 6NYCRR Part 750-2.4 and 750-2.5, any person who knowingly makes any false material statement, representation, or certification in any application, record, report or other document filed or required to be maintained under this permit, including reports of compliance or noncompliance shall, upon conviction, be punished in accordance with ECL §71-1933 and or Articles 175 and 210 of the New York State Penal Law.  

If Federal and State historic preservation mandates are indeed genuine, this building needs DEC intervention to protect it from government sponsored vandals.