The shovels have barely hit the ground to start construction on the $13 billion transformation project at JFK Airport and Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz is already cracking down on illegal activity at the site.
Katz joined Mayor Eric Adams and the New York City Business Integrity Commission (BIC) late last month to announce that three companies have been charged with unlawful waste hauling in connection with construction work to modernize JFK and that arrests have been coordinated in partnership with the NYPD and the Office of the Inspector General for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
While she said she was precluded from discussing the specifics of the pending criminal case she is preparing, Katz declared such huge projects will be done without corruption and that her office and law enforcement partners across the city are watching them.
“I care deeply that those who are hauling waste through my borough are doing it in safety, doing it with regulations, making sure that they’re registered for the job, and making sure that organizations and the agencies that are responsible for watching them have the ability to do that,” Katz said. “We are the home of two major airports that are getting redeveloped. They have to know we are watching every step of the way. Our welfare depends on it.”
The three companies — LMC Trucking Corp., Ferreira Construction Co. Inc., and Bond Civil & Utility Construction, Inc. — all lack the BIC license or registration that is required in order to operate as a waste hauler in New York City.
BIC — the city agency charged with regulating the commercial waste hauling industry — previously denied the application for a waste hauling registration of LMC Trucking Corp, The company’s application was denied in 2020 on the grounds the company falsely represented who operated the entity in its application to BIC, conducted trade waste-related business with members of organized crime, and defrauded a trade waste union by paying employees in cash and failing to pay union benefits. The company’s continued operation of its trade waste business in defiance of BIC’s denial led to the arrest and related charges.
“The regulations of our city’s commercial waste hauling industry prevents corruption and criminality from organized crime from seeping into vital services of the market,” Katz said. “Those who attempt to skirt the law by not registering and by not having the agencies be able to follow up on them, will be held accountable.”
Operating a trade waste business without a BIC license or registration is punishable by imprisonment of up to six months and a criminal fine of up to $10,000 for unlicensed activity, or $5,000 for an unregistered activity for each day of violation.
“There’s a reason companies need to register. They need to register so that their standards and their integrity and everything that comes with that to have the privilege of working with the City of New York can be investigated and have its stamp of approval,” Katz said. “These companies failed to register in order to have this job. That is the issue that we are dealing with right here.”
NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell said the crackdown on the unlawful waste hauling activity at JFK will continue.
“It is imperative that we keep the busiest port on the East Coast operating safely and with the utmost integrity,” Sewell said. “Not only is it our responsibility, but it is also critical to the infrastructure, economy, and vitality of our nation.”