LEWISTON – The Democratic nominee for town supervisor in Tuesday’s election, Dennis J. Brochey Sr., has filed a lawsuit demanding $2 million in damages from a company that he hired nearly 20 years ago to clean up environmental problems at his auto repair shop.
Brochey’s suit, filed this week in State Supreme Court, alleges that the company, Green Environment Specialists of Niagara Falls, failed to remove all the petroleum-contaminated soil when it took out four underground storage tanks at Brochey’s business.
According to court documents, the problem wasn’t discovered until last year, when Brochey and his wife, Cathy, sought to sell Dennis Brochey Automotive, the Center Street business they had owned since March 1992.
The lawsuit says that Green Environmental, a company owned by Jim Greig, was hired in 1994 to remove four underground storage tanks and soil contaminated by leaking oil and gasoline.
The work was done in what Brochey thought was good order.
No further trouble ensued until Brochey sought to sell the business in the wake of his 2012 election to the Village Board, his first political office.
He hired Glynn Geotechnical Engineering of Lockport to perform an environmental investigation on the site, and, according to the lawsuit, Glynn’s testing showed petroleum contamination remained buried beneath the surface in amounts higher than the cleanup threshold imposed by the state Department of Environmental Conservation.
The DEC ordered another remediation, and Brochey hired Ridgeway Environmental Services, which completed the work in April of this year.
The suit doesn’t mention exactly how much that work cost, but it does demand $1 million in costs from Green Environmental as part of a damage award that also would include another $1 million in compensatory damages. The cost claim includes reduced property values and lost profits as well as the actual cost of Ridgeway’s work.
The site was sold in July to Sincon Realty LLC of Lewiston for $450,000, county records show. Brochey and his wife still hold a $410,000 mortgage on the property. Brochey and Greig failed to return calls seeking comment.