Plaintiff Raritan Baykeeper, Inc. filed suit against Stillwell Ready Mix & Building Materials, LLC, Stillwell Ready Mix, LLC, and Gerard Gargano (collectively, Stillwell) Wednesday in the Eastern District of New York. The suit includes allegations that the defendants discharged polluted water from their facility in Brooklyn, New York City, which allegedly violates the Federal Water Pollution Control Act, or Clean Water Act.
The wastewater discharge from the defendant flows into the Coney Island Creek, which is currently designated as an “impaired” waterbody. This designation means that Coney Island Creek “fails to meet state water quality standards for dissolved oxygen, fecal coliform, and garbage/refuse.” Raritan Baykeeper asserts that the wastewater disposed of by the defendant into the Coney Island Creek only serves to add to the existing pollution problem in the area.
By manufacturing, loading, and delivering ready-mix concrete at their facilities, Stillwell’s industrial activities allegedly discharge water into New York City’s municipal stormwater drainage system. The wastewater purportedly includes “lead, iron, zinc, and other metals; detergents and other cleaning agents; fuel, fuel additives, lubricants, oil, and grease; oxygen depleting substances; and pH-altering substances,” all of which the complaint says are inherently harmful to the health of the waterway and its surrounding ecosystem.
The complaint also mentions that the defendants have a “long history” of violating the Clean Water Act; there have also been complaints from the neighbors of the facility regarding Stillwell’s pollution and industrial activities. Despite a settlement being reached in 2019 regarding the defendant’s practices, the plaintiffs explain that Stillwell has returned to their old ways. According to the complaint, the defendants have “accumulated more than 2,000 violations of the Clean Water Act since the prior lawsuit was settled and dismissed in 2019.”
Raritan Baykeeper is charging the defendant with unlawful discharge of non-stormwater and stormwater tainted by various industrial activities. Other accusations include failure to develop and implement the best system to prevent the violations, failure to conduct routine inspections, and failure to make corrections and keep records. The plaintiff is seeking a declaration of the violations, an order enjoining the defendants from engaging in future violations, an order requiring the defendants to implement adequate regulations to correct the problem as well as pay appropriate penalties.
The plaintiff is represented by Super Law Group, LLC.