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Robert L. Bishop, left, and Salvatore P. Capizzi face charges in dumping.

2 accused of illegal asbestos dumping

Two local contractors were arrested Wednesday and accused of illegally dumping more than five tons of asbestos-contaminated debris in an abandoned city warehouse.

Robert L. Bishop, of East Amherst, owner of Peerless Environmental Control, a local asbestos abatement contractor, and Salvatore P. Capizzi, of Grand Island, a self-employed demolition contractor, are charged with two felony counts that carry a maximum penalty of seven years in prison.

ďPeople who try to cut corners by illegally dumping harmful materials, like asbestos, endanger the public and hurt the environment,Ē Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo said.

According to court papers, Bishop is charged with collecting thousands of pounds of asbestos-contaminated waste and storing it in containers at a West Avenue warehouse. After being notified by the state Labor Department of an upcoming inspection, Bishop had the waste hauled to an abandoned building on Leslie Street that was purportedly owned by Capizzi, who didnít actually own the building.

The asbestos reportedly remained hidden for more than a year, until it was discovered by the Labor Departmentís asbestos regulators. The U. S. Environmental Protection Agency cleaned the site at a cost of $137,400.

An investigation by the state Department of Environmental Conservationís Bureau of Environmental Crimes Investigation and the attorney generalís office resulted in the charges.