Staten Island Company Executive Arrested for Environmental Cover-Up Soil Mechani

 An 18-month investigation by New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Environmental Conservation Officers (ECOs) and the Richmond County District Attorney’s office has led to the arrest of a company vice president who police say falsified documents concerning a gasoline-contaminated remediation project on Staten Island.


Vincent Nantista, lead engineer and vice president of Soil Mechanics Drilling Corp., was arrested Wednesday and charged in Richmond County Criminal Court with 11 counts of falsifying business records in the 1st degree and eight counts of offering a false instrument for filing in the 1st degree, all Class E felony charges.

Nantista entered a plea of not guilty and was released on his own recognizance.

"When companies put profits above safety, it jeopardizes the health of our environment and communities," DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said. "I applaud the work of our investigators and the Richmond County District Attorney Michael E. McMahon and his staff in aggressively pursuing this case, which sends a strong message to other companies trying to cheat our environmental laws."

"This defendant is alleged to have filed false reports to impede NYS DEC’s assessment of contaminated soil in the ground," District Attorney Michael E. McMahon said. "These actions are both a betrayal of public trust and potentially harmful to the environment and the people of Staten Island. I commend DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos for thoroughly investigating this matter and the professionalism his team has exhibited while working in partnership with our ADAs."

The investigation began in June of 2015 when staff from DEC’s Region 2 Division of Environmental Remediation noticed a possible false filing of reports concerning an ongoing cleanup project on Staten Island.

Soil Mechanics, a certified remediation company, was cleaning up a site of a former gas station at 900 Hylan Blvd. that had, in prior years, caused significant gasoline contamination to the soil and surrounding groundwater. A multi-million dollar construction project was planned for the site, and as part of the cleanup, Soil Mechanics staff were tasked with monitoring wells and bailing them of any gasoline present. After several years of remediation, contamination remained.

Investigators allege that the professional engineer in charge of the project, Nantista, grew frustrated with the slow process and, in attempt to speed up the project, began to alter monitoring data gathered by the company’s field technicians.

DEC remediation staff and investigators from the Bureau of Environmental Crimes Investigation (BECI) unit visited the site and confirmed that the contamination was still present.

Nantista allegedly submitted false final reports to DEC that misrepresented the size and extent of the gasoline to make it appear the site was clean. DEC investigators set up surveillance on the site, and hours before a final inspection several employees were observed removing gasoline from the wells so they would pass.

BECI investigators and the Richmond County District Attorney’s Office obtained search warrants, one for Soil Mechanics Environmental Services, 3770 Merrick Road, Seaford, and another at Soil Mechanics Environmental Services, 245A Broadway, Amityville, and seized all materials related to the remediation project.

A year-long review of the seized materials led to the charges, which carry fines of up to $95,000 and imprisonment of up to four years.

Nantista is scheduled to appear in Richmond County Court on March 8 to face the charges.

If you witness an environmental crime, contact the NYSDEC 24-hour Poacher and Polluter hotline at 1-844-DEC-ECOS (1-844-332-3267).

 An 18-month investigation by New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Environmental Conservation Officers (ECOs) and the Richmond County District Attorney’s office has led to the arrest of a company vice president who police say falsified documents concerning a gasoline-contaminated remediation project on Staten Island.

Vincent Nantista, lead engineer and vice president of Soil Mechanics Drilling Corp., was arrested Wednesday and charged in Richmond County Criminal Court with 11 counts of falsifying business records in the 1st degree and eight counts of offering a false instrument for filing in the 1st degree, all Class E felony charges.

Nantista entered a plea of not guilty and was released on his own recognizance.

"When companies put profits above safety, it jeopardizes the health of our environment and communities," DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said. "I applaud the work of our investigators and the Richmond County District Attorney Michael E. McMahon and his staff in aggressively pursuing this case, which sends a strong message to other companies trying to cheat our environmental laws."

"This defendant is alleged to have filed false reports to impede NYS DEC’s assessment of contaminated soil in the ground," District Attorney Michael E. McMahon said. "These actions are both a betrayal of public trust and potentially harmful to the environment and the people of Staten Island. I commend DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos for thoroughly investigating this matter and the professionalism his team has exhibited while working in partnership with our ADAs."

The investigation began in June of 2015 when staff from DEC’s Region 2 Division of Environmental Remediation noticed a possible false filing of reports concerning an ongoing cleanup project on Staten Island.

Soil Mechanics, a certified remediation company, was cleaning up a site of a former gas station at 900 Hylan Blvd. that had, in prior years, caused significant gasoline contamination to the soil and surrounding groundwater. A multi-million dollar construction project was planned for the site, and as part of the cleanup, Soil Mechanics staff were tasked with monitoring wells and bailing them of any gasoline present. After several years of remediation, contamination remained.

Investigators allege that the professional engineer in charge of the project, Nantista, grew frustrated with the slow process and, in attempt to speed up the project, began to alter monitoring data gathered by the company’s field technicians.

DEC remediation staff and investigators from the Bureau of Environmental Crimes Investigation (BECI) unit visited the site and confirmed that the contamination was still present.

Nantista allegedly submitted false final reports to DEC that misrepresented the size and extent of the gasoline to make it appear the site was clean. DEC investigators set up surveillance on the site, and hours before a final inspection several employees were observed removing gasoline from the wells so they would pass.

BECI investigators and the Richmond County District Attorney’s Office obtained search warrants, one for Soil Mechanics Environmental Services, 3770 Merrick Road, Seaford, and another at Soil Mechanics Environmental Services, 245A Broadway, Amityville, and seized all materials related to the remediation project.

A year-long review of the seized materials led to the charges, which carry fines of up to $95,000 and imprisonment of up to four years.

Nantista is scheduled to appear in Richmond County Court on March 8 to face the charges.

If you witness an environmental crime, contact the NYSDEC 24-hour Poacher and Polluter hotline at 1-844-DEC-ECOS (1-844-332-3267).
Share this article

Navigation Center Website Survey Request

We are eager to understand the primary reason for your visit to the Navigation Center website and how you use it, whether for recreational boating, professional purposes, data requests, educational reasons, or otherwise. Your feedback on the website’s ease of use, ability to find information, and if it’s your primary source for navigation-related information is crucial. We are committed to improving your experience and welcome any suggestions to enhance the site’s usability, information accessibility, and overall efficiency. Your insights are invaluable in helping us better meet your navigation needs.

 

Survey: Navigation Center Website Feedback Survey (surveymonkey.com)

 

 

 

 

U.S. Coast Guard Navigation Center Website Customer Feedback Survey Privacy Notice

Authority: 14 U.S.C. §504; 14 U.S.C §505; and Executive Order 12862.

Purpose: To collect data that will be used to analyze and determine the kind and quality of services customers want and expect, as well as their satisfaction with U.S. Coast Guard Navigation Center services. To maintain confidentiality, respondents are advised not to include any personally identifiable information in their responses.

Routine Uses: This survey solicits information that the Coast Guard will use to gauge feedback and improve overall customer service. DHS/ALL/PIA-069 DHS Surveys, Interviews, and Focus Groups provides coverage for this collection.

Disclosure: Furnishing this information is strictly voluntary

Read More

Navigation Center Website Survey Request

We are eager to understand the primary reason for your visit to the Navigation Center website and how you use it, whether for recreational boating, professional purposes, data requests, educational reasons, or otherwise. Your feedback on the website’s ease of use, ability to find information, and if it’s your primary source for navigation-related information is crucial. We are committed to improving your experience and welcome any suggestions to enhance the site’s usability, information accessibility, and overall efficiency. Your insights are invaluable in helping us better meet your navigation needs.

 

Survey: Navigation Center Website Feedback Survey (surveymonkey.com)

 

 

 

 

U.S. Coast Guard Navigation Center Website Customer Feedback Survey Privacy Notice

Authority: 14 U.S.C. §504; 14 U.S.C §505; and Executive Order 12862.

Purpose: To collect data that will be used to analyze and determine the kind and quality of services customers want and expect, as well as their satisfaction with U.S. Coast Guard Navigation Center services. To maintain confidentiality, respondents are advised not to include any personally identifiable information in their responses.

Routine Uses: This survey solicits information that the Coast Guard will use to gauge feedback and improve overall customer service. DHS/ALL/PIA-069 DHS Surveys, Interviews, and Focus Groups provides coverage for this collection.

Disclosure: Furnishing this information is strictly voluntary

Read More

Navigation Center Website Survey Request

We are eager to understand the primary reason for your visit to the Navigation Center website and how you use it, whether for recreational boating, professional purposes, data requests, educational reasons, or otherwise. Your feedback on the website’s ease of use, ability to find information, and if it’s your primary source for navigation-related information is crucial. We are committed to improving your experience and welcome any suggestions to enhance the site’s usability, information accessibility, and overall efficiency. Your insights are invaluable in helping us better meet your navigation needs.

 

Survey: Navigation Center Website Feedback Survey (surveymonkey.com)

 

 

 

 

U.S. Coast Guard Navigation Center Website Customer Feedback Survey Privacy Notice

Authority: 14 U.S.C. §504; 14 U.S.C §505; and Executive Order 12862.

Purpose: To collect data that will be used to analyze and determine the kind and quality of services customers want and expect, as well as their satisfaction with U.S. Coast Guard Navigation Center services. To maintain confidentiality, respondents are advised not to include any personally identifiable information in their responses.

Routine Uses: This survey solicits information that the Coast Guard will use to gauge feedback and improve overall customer service. DHS/ALL/PIA-069 DHS Surveys, Interviews, and Focus Groups provides coverage for this collection.

Disclosure: Furnishing this information is strictly voluntary

Read More

Navigation Center Website Survey Request

We are eager to understand the primary reason for your visit to the Navigation Center website and how you use it, whether for recreational boating, professional purposes, data requests, educational reasons, or otherwise. Your feedback on the website’s ease of use, ability to find information, and if it’s your primary source for navigation-related information is crucial. We are committed to improving your experience and welcome any suggestions to enhance the site’s usability, information accessibility, and overall efficiency. Your insights are invaluable in helping us better meet your navigation needs.

 

Survey: Navigation Center Website Feedback Survey (surveymonkey.com)

 

 

 

 

U.S. Coast Guard Navigation Center Website Customer Feedback Survey Privacy Notice

Authority: 14 U.S.C. §504; 14 U.S.C §505; and Executive Order 12862.

Purpose: To collect data that will be used to analyze and determine the kind and quality of services customers want and expect, as well as their satisfaction with U.S. Coast Guard Navigation Center services. To maintain confidentiality, respondents are advised not to include any personally identifiable information in their responses.

Routine Uses: This survey solicits information that the Coast Guard will use to gauge feedback and improve overall customer service. DHS/ALL/PIA-069 DHS Surveys, Interviews, and Focus Groups provides coverage for this collection.

Disclosure: Furnishing this information is strictly voluntary

Read More

Navigation Center Website Survey Request

We are eager to understand the primary reason for your visit to the Navigation Center website and how you use it, whether for recreational boating, professional purposes, data requests, educational reasons, or otherwise. Your feedback on the website’s ease of use, ability to find information, and if it’s your primary source for navigation-related information is crucial. We are committed to improving your experience and welcome any suggestions to enhance the site’s usability, information accessibility, and overall efficiency. Your insights are invaluable in helping us better meet your navigation needs.

 

Survey: Navigation Center Website Feedback Survey (surveymonkey.com)

 

 

 

 

U.S. Coast Guard Navigation Center Website Customer Feedback Survey Privacy Notice

Authority: 14 U.S.C. §504; 14 U.S.C §505; and Executive Order 12862.

Purpose: To collect data that will be used to analyze and determine the kind and quality of services customers want and expect, as well as their satisfaction with U.S. Coast Guard Navigation Center services. To maintain confidentiality, respondents are advised not to include any personally identifiable information in their responses.

Routine Uses: This survey solicits information that the Coast Guard will use to gauge feedback and improve overall customer service. DHS/ALL/PIA-069 DHS Surveys, Interviews, and Focus Groups provides coverage for this collection.

Disclosure: Furnishing this information is strictly voluntary

Read More

SAFETY/CALOOSAHATCHEE RIVER /ATON/SEC STP BNM 0058-24

SUBJ: SAFETY BROADCAST NOTICE TO MARINERS
SEC STP BNM 0058-24
CALOOSAHATCHEE RIVER
CALOOSAHATCHEE RIVER DBN 25 (LLNR 52325) IS RPTD KNOCKED DOWN IN THE ICW AND THE STEEL PILE IS REPORTED BENEATH THE WATER LINE AND IS A HAZARD TO NAVIGATION.
ALL MARINERS PLEASE NAVIGATE THE AREA WITH EXTREME CAUTION.
CANCEL AT//212359Z MAR 24//
BT
#0001
NNNN

Read More

SAFETY/CALOOSAHATCHEE RIVER /ATON/SEC STP BNM 0058-24

SUBJ: SAFETY BROADCAST NOTICE TO MARINERS
SEC STP BNM 0058-24
CALOOSAHATCHEE RIVER
CALOOSAHATCHEE RIVER DBN 25 (LLNR 52325) IS RPTD KNOCKED DOWN IN THE ICW AND THE STEEL PILE IS REPORTED BENEATH THE WATER LINE AND IS A HAZARD TO NAVIGATION.
ALL MARINERS PLEASE NAVIGATE THE AREA WITH EXTREME CAUTION.
CANCEL AT//212359Z MAR 24//
BT
#0001
NNNN

Read More

SAFETY/CALOOSAHATCHEE RIVER /ATON/SEC STP BNM 0058-24

SUBJ: SAFETY BROADCAST NOTICE TO MARINERS
SEC STP BNM 0058-24
CALOOSAHATCHEE RIVER
CALOOSAHATCHEE RIVER DBN 25 (LLNR 52325) IS RPTD KNOCKED DOWN IN THE ICW AND THE STEEL PILE IS REPORTED BENEATH THE WATER LINE AND IS A HAZARD TO NAVIGATION.
ALL MARINERS PLEASE NAVIGATE THE AREA WITH EXTREME CAUTION.
CANCEL AT//212359Z MAR 24//
BT
#0001
NNNN

Read More

SAFETY/CALOOSAHATCHEE RIVER /ATON/SEC STP BNM 0058-24

SUBJ: SAFETY BROADCAST NOTICE TO MARINERS
SEC STP BNM 0058-24
CALOOSAHATCHEE RIVER
CALOOSAHATCHEE RIVER DBN 25 (LLNR 52325) IS RPTD KNOCKED DOWN IN THE ICW AND THE STEEL PILE IS REPORTED BENEATH THE WATER LINE AND IS A HAZARD TO NAVIGATION.
ALL MARINERS PLEASE NAVIGATE THE AREA WITH EXTREME CAUTION.
CANCEL AT//212359Z MAR 24//
BT
#0001
NNNN

Read More

SAFETY/CALOOSAHATCHEE RIVER /ATON/SEC STP BNM 0058-24

SUBJ: SAFETY BROADCAST NOTICE TO MARINERS
SEC STP BNM 0058-24
CALOOSAHATCHEE RIVER
CALOOSAHATCHEE RIVER DBN 25 (LLNR 52325) IS RPTD KNOCKED DOWN IN THE ICW AND THE STEEL PILE IS REPORTED BENEATH THE WATER LINE AND IS A HAZARD TO NAVIGATION.
ALL MARINERS PLEASE NAVIGATE THE AREA WITH EXTREME CAUTION.
CANCEL AT//212359Z MAR 24//
BT
#0001
NNNN

Read More
Keep Reading