BUFFALO, N.Y. — On Thursday, Attorney General Letitia James and DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos announced a court-ordered agreement to shut down Battaglia Demolition, Inc.
The business has sat vacant since 2018 following a fire, but while it was in operation, concrete crushing caused neighbors to file complaints about dust and noise.
“For years dust, noise, odor, and other environmental assaults caused by the Battaglia facility plagued communities in South Buffalo, threatening residents’ health, well-being, and quality of life,” James said.
“New Yorkers deserve clean, safe, and healthy environments to call home, and my office will always work to uphold those standards statewide. As a result of our efforts, this site will finally be cleaned up, and Mr. Battaglia will pay his fair share for the damage his facility has caused.”
The court order resolves a lawsuit the Office of the Attorney General and DEC brought against Peter Battaglia, Jr., owner and operator of Battaglia Demolition, for illegally operating the facility without proper state environmental permits.
The agreement orders a full cleanup of the site, which brought dust, noise, odors, vermin, and traffic to the neighborhood, and requires Battaglia to pay up to $1 million in penalties.
“Today’s enforcement action is sending a strong and resounding message that New York will not tolerate companies that pollute our environment and blatantly disregard the health and safety of communities,” Seggos said. “DEC will always work tirelessly to pursue companies like Battaglia Demolition and hold them accountable to the fullest extent of the law to ensure communities don’t have to endure these types of environmental hazards again.”
The agreement requires Battaglia to remove concrete debris and solid waste from the property to return the property to being a green space. The owner has 120 days to do so.
"We already had to demolish the property because they were slow-playing it and not doing it, and we just had to get some results for the residents and the neighbors over there, so the city demolished the property and now it's about remediating that land, making sure it's protected, it's environmentally sound," said Buffalo Common Councilmember Bryan Bollman, (D) Lovejoy District.
On Aug. 8, the City of Buffalo Department of Permit and Inspections Commissioner Cathy Amdur announced that demolition of the site had started. The process was expected to take two weeks.
"It's just nice to get some resolution and some peace for those neighbors because this has been an ongoing saga. It's been an eyesore. They've dealt with rodents, dust, soot, mess, trash, debris. You name it, that's what the neighbors over there have dealt with," said Bryan Bollman.