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[UPDATE] Colonie: County Waste likely didn't act alone

"This is reasonable for that time period," she said.

County Waste and its president, Scott Earl, will be responsible to make the payments, according to Cuomo's office.

"County Waste undercut its financial obligations to the Town of Colonie and ignored its environmental protection obligations to the state and its residents," said Cuomo in a statement. "Scams like this not only potentially impact the environment, but also taxpayers who have to bear the brunt of lost revenue. My office worked with the DEC and the town to ensure that Colonie was paid its due, and that the company was held accountable for its acceptance of non-permitted waste."

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation's Law Enforcement and Bureau of Environmental Crimes began investigating in 2007. In 2008, Cuomo's office joined the investigation and 2008 search warrant permitted officials to search the Clifton Park facility, according to Cuomo's office.

Mahan said the town has an outside firm audited the landfill in 2007 and the town has been looking to make its operation more efficient since then.

"DEC is committed to preserving the state's valuable natural resources and believes in holding environmental violators accountable for their actions. These permits are put into place to ensure the protection of our environment and of public health and New York businesses and municipalities are expected to follow permit requirements," said DEC Commissioner Pete Grannis said. "The department will continue to work with the attorney general's office to pursue enforcement actions against those who violate environmental conservation laws."

County Waste officials offered a statement on Feb. 22.

"In July of 2008, the Attorney General began investigating a $15 million claim made against County Waste and Recycling by a former employee. We cooperated fully with the Attorney General as he conducted his 18-month comprehensive review and provided complete assistance to his office as he worked to investigate the claim," according to the statement. As we said from the start " County Waste and Recycling operates fairly and legally. The settlement reached today is the best decision for County Waste and Recycling's more than 400 employees and 180,000 residential, commercial and municipal customers who expect and appreciate the dependable, quality service we provide. We are moving forward, and redoubling our focus on our top priority " our customers."

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