MARLBOROUGH TOWNSHIP, Pa.-The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection has filed a complaint against a Marlborough Township businessman claiming he illegally stored and disposed about 300,000 tires in Montgomery County. The complaint was filed jointly with Marlborough Township May 16 in Montgomery County Common Pleas Court against Raymond Coakley, who operates the site as Ray Freedman Metals. Coakley is charged with unlawful disposal of waste tires, unlawful operation of a solid waste landfill, unlawful storage of solid waste and denying DEP inspectors access to the site.
``Our hope is that with the help of a court order, we can get this operation into compliance with the law as quickly as possible and thereby end the current threats to public health, safety and the environment,'' said Ron Furlan, Southeast Regional Waste Management Program manager.
Edward and Maria DeLoach, the owners of the 27-acre property, also are named in the suit. They are charged with allowing illegal disposal and storage of waste tires to occur on their property. Edward DeLoach said he rented the site to Coakley with the understanding that his dealings were legitimate.
``When I heard it I told him no tires and he said he had the blessing of the township and the DEP,'' the 78-year-old World War II veteran said. ``That's what he said.''
The complaint requests the court issue an order requiring Coakley and the DeLoaches to stop accepting tires at the site, remove and dispose of all the tires on the property, legally store the tires, and allow the DEP access to the site. It also asks that Coakley pay a $2,000 fine for threatening DEP inspectors and denying them access to the site.
On July 18, 1995, Coakley allegedly threatened to chase a DEP inspector from the site with a shotgun, a DEP spokesman said. Coakley then allegedly threatened to kick another inspector in the face August 15, 1995, the spokesman said.
A court date hasn't been set.
Coakley couldn't be reached for comment.
The DeLoaches are maintaining their innocence in the matter.
``We're not guilty of these charges. We didn't do a thing,'' Edward DeLoach said. ``We thought (Coakley) was a legitimate, honest-to-goodness person.''