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BLOSENSKI DISPOSAL SERVICE v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (05/24/88)

decided: May 24, 1988.

BLOSENSKI DISPOSAL SERVICE, APPELLANT
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL RESOURCES, APPELLEE



Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Chester County, in the case of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Environmental Resources v. Blosenski Disposal Service, Nos. 183-82, 184-82.

COUNSEL

James A. Cunningham, Sager & Sager Associates, for appellant.

Kenneth A. Gelburd, Special Deputy Attorney General, for appellee.

Judges Craig and Doyle, and Senior Judge Kalish, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Doyle.

Author: Doyle

[ 116 Pa. Commw. Page 317]

Before us is an appeal by Blosenski Disposal Service (Appellant) from an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Chester County, denying Appellant's post-trial motions for arrest of judgment and for a new trial. We affirm.

Viewed in the light most favorable to the Commonwealth, the facts as established by the record are as follows:*fn1

[ 116 Pa. Commw. Page 318]

On July 7, 1981, an agent of the Department of Environmental Resources (DER), Frank Holmes, inspected Appellant's transfer station located at the Chester Tree Road site in Chester County. Agent Holmes observed green trash bags being removed from a trash truck and then being compacted. Appellant's facility was only authorized to compact cardboard and on-site generated trash; therefore, agent Holmes issued two citations to Appellant for violations of 25 Pa. Code ยง 75.21(a), which pertained to unlawful conduct under Sections 610(2) and 610(4) of the Solid Waste Management Act (Act).*fn2

Appellant was found guilty of these violations by a District Justice and the same result was reached by the court of common pleas after a hearing de novo. Appellant then filed post-trial motions in arrest of judgment and for a new trial. During the pendency of post-trial motions in this case, the court administrator informed the trial judge of similar criminal matters pending against Appellant. Appellant thereupon moved that the judge recuse himself. This motion was denied. The trial court then denied Appellant's motions for arrest of judgment and new trial.

Appellant raises a raft of issues on this appeal which the court shall address seriatim. First, Appellant challenges the substantiality of the evidence to establish its unlawful violations of the Act. There were two charges made against Appellant. The first pertained to a violation of Section 610(2) of the Act which prohibits operating or utilizing a solid waste processing facility without

[ 116 Pa. Commw. Page 319]

    a permit from DER. The second charge pertained to a violation of Section 610(4), prohibiting the use of land as a municipal solid waste processing area without a DER permit.*fn3

Upon review of the evidence, we find it to be sufficient to support the trial court's finding of guilt. To begin, DER presented testimony that Appellant never had a permit from it for solid waste management at its Chester Tree Road site. DER agent Holmes then testified that on July 7, 1981, he observed a green truck bearing the words "Blosenski Disposal Service" being backed into the compactor building. He testified that he observed several green plastic trash bags, some cans, glass bottles and old pieces of wood in the rear portion of the trash truck. He also stated that he saw more of these trash bags in the compactor pile. Although this testimony is the only evidence of ...


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