Murray’s Due to Respond This Week to Federal Lawsuit

Edward Dudek, owner of Murray’s Auto Recycling, is expected to respond this week to a federal lawsuit filed against him by the Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) for violations of the U.S. Clean Water Act.

CLF alleges in its lawsuit that water runoff from Dudek’s auto salvage yard on Hall Road is running into waters that connect to Little Cohas Brook, thus violating the federal Clean Water Act.

Zak Griefen, who is lead attorney for CLF’s Environmental Enforcement Project, said last week that while the suit was filed April 30 in U.S. District Court in Concord, Dudek has not yet filed his response. It is due Aug. 27, after the Londonderry Times goes to press. Griefen said the date for a response from Dudek, normally due within 30 days of the filing of a complaint, was extended to Aug. 27 by agreement of the parties.

“He has a very extensive enforcement file in the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (DES) regarding groundwater contamination,” Griefen said. “It doesn’t really have much to do with the claims that CLF is bringing
but it would provide information on the DES oversight of the facility, which has been ongoing for quite some time.”

CLF’s investigations determined that Dudek’s auto recycling business “is located on and in the federally-mapped wetland that adjoins and flows into Little Cohas Brook,” Griefen said earlier. “Any automobile salvage yard discharging storm water that has come in contact with industrial materials or areas of industrial activity into public waters requires a discharge permit under the Clean Water Act. After determining that Dudek Auto requires a Clean Water Act discharge permit, CLF checked (the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s) database to see if Dudek Auto had obtained that permit and learned that Dudek Auto had never applied for it.”

At the Aug. 11 Town Council meeting, where the renewal of Dudek’s junkyard license was on the agenda, Council Chairman Tom Dolan said the Council had learned that additional information from Dudek was to become available on Aug. 27, referring to the response date.

“The Council would very much like the benefit of that information prior to moving forward,” Dolan said at the time, and the Council then continued the matter to its next meeting, in September.

“I reviewed the video of that Town Council meeting and my understanding is that the Town Council wants to see the answer,” Griefen noted.

Dudek recently engaged the services of attorney Patricia Panciocco to represent him.

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