ATTENTION: COMMISSIONER JOSEPH MARTENS | COMPLAINT – DEC NEGLIGENCE

Goshen activist Vincent Ferri has filed a complaint on July 14, 2015 with Joseph Martins, the Commissioner of DEC. He has written the following letter to the Commissioner:

"Dear Commissioner Martens,

Recently you received a message from Michael H. Sussman, Esq., for whom I work as an environmental and forensic investigator.

I have, since he sent that message, been in contact with a planner from another county, who wishes to remain unnamed, but who related that an official complaint should be lodged with the DEC in order for your agency to take our issues seriously. And, given my experiences, to date, that seems to have been good advice.

I also learned from a local engineer who related to me that if Ms. Brown for some reason disliked an applicant, that applicant would have to jump through every hoop the DEC threw at him/her. In the instance of the County and the Paul Rudolph building, however,  she seems to have been entranced by the County or Mr. Clark from Clark, Paterson & Lee or distracted from her responsibilities by some other incentive.

Every architect, civil engineer and planning professional I have spoken to know that well over an acre of regulated soil disturbance will take place at the County’s construction site, and they all recognize many other insufficiencies in the SEQRA document prepared by the County. They also know beyond any doubt that the Joint Letter of Resolution between the DEC and NYSHPO should have been invoked months ago to implement a Section 106 Compliance and Oversight process relative to the NHPA.

On a personal note, independent from my work for Mr. Sussman, I am an environmental activist, a former treasurer and board member of Orange Environment and a member of Clearwater’s Revival Planning Committee, I will tell you that the entire building could be torn to the ground, and I will not rest until all those who participated in the conspiracy to destroy this building are identified and held accountable for their actions.

This complaint is being forwarded today to a member of the Assembly, the NYS AG, the NYS Comptroller, NYSHPO, NYSPRHP, the investigative departments of the regional offices of ACOE and the EPA.

Further, by direct verbal confirmation to me by an EPA water resource specialist for Region 2 responsible for SPDES issues, I was informed that Ms. Brown must have access to a signed and certified site plan to make her determinations for regulated soil disturbance, and that all soil disturbance taking place anywhere at the site at any time up to the full buildout of the project including any segmented infrastructure must be considered cumulatively and in its entirety.

No member of the public or the County Planner has seen a copy of the signed and certified site plan. It was not available at the County Planners Office, the County Executive’s office or, at the time I visited the OCDPW, it was not available at the DPW office. It could only be accessed by two people and only after filing a FOIL request which will not be answered till the end of this week, if at all.

It has been made clear by your Region 3 Director that only preliminary presentation drawings were reviewed, and the balance of the information Ms. Brown used to make her determination came from verbal assurances by County operatives determined to destroy the architectural significance of the Rudolph structure. The amount of regulated soil disturbance should have prevented ANY WORK from proceeding at the County site without the Section 106 Review.

An Article 78 is pending against the County and the County Legislature on the deficiencies of their SEQRA document and the case [as the one before it] will be heard my Judge Cahill, however, the Office of Court Administration which has direct approval authority on parts of the project, who’s OCA Police have been protecting the work site and who have a financial funding interest in the project [READ SECTION 106 REVIEW] may control the outcome of our litigation.

I can only speculate that if that happens, a Federal Due Process suit may be filed to obtain a fair and impartial hearing of the matter, and an investigation by the DOJ should commence to find out why every NYS regulatory and protective agency failed in their statutory responsibilities to protect this historic structure."

Attached to Vincent Ferri's letter (printed in full, above) was the actual complaint. You may download a copy of Vincent Ferri's complaint to the DEC by clicking this link.