Connellsville businessman held for court on unlawful conduct charges
Charges against a Connellsville businessman accused of dumping construction and demolition waste at his recycling business have been held for county court.
Rodney Allen, 63, of 336 Breakneck Road was charged in July with two counts of unlawful conduct.
At Allen's preliminary hearing on Thursday, Special Agent William F. Brown of the state Attorney General's Office said an investigation of Allen's business, Allen Enterprises & Recycling LLC in Bullskin Township, was initiated by a referral from the Department of Environmental Protection.
A witness told authorities he watched Allen's recycling business bring roll-off trash bins and tri-axle trucks filled with construction and demolition waste on the B&R property and dump the waste into a hole in the ground.
Brown provided the court with aerial photographs of the excavated trenches as well as photographs of what was dug up from five trenches on the Bellview Road property when a search warrant was executed on May 21.
The waste discovered included carpet, burnt wood, vinyl siding, electrical boxes, wiring, plumbing material, children's toys, a bicycle, plastic wrap, soda bottles, a truck bed liner and more.
Brown said Allen told him the property was a landfill from 1940 to 1989 and he purchased the land through a tax sale. He reportedly told Brown someone could have entered his business without his knowledge and buried the waste.
Brown said the trenches could have been dug and filled only with a large piece of machinery, not by someone sneaking onto the property with hand-held tools.
“He would have known if someone buried it,” said Brown, who produced a photograph of a W-2 form from 2010 that was found in one of the trenches to prove the materials weren't there before 1989.
Brown said Allen did not have a permit from the DEP to dispose of municipal waste, which includes solid, liquid or semi-solid materials, on the property.
Haggerty held all charges for Fayette County Court.
A formal arraignment has been scheduled at 9:30 a.m. Nov. 21 in Courtroom 2 at the Fayette County Courthouse.
Allen is free on $5,000 unsecured bond.
Mark Hofmann is a staff writer with Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-626-3539 or firstname.lastname@example.org.