Law Street Media

Riverkeeper Sues NY Facility for Discharging Polluted Stormwater into the Rivers

Water with an oily rainbow-colored sheen on top.

Diesel oil spill on the water surface during a light rain storm.

On Sunday, Riverkeeper, Inc. filed a complaint in the Southern District of New York against State Contracting Corp. of NY and George McGuire for allegedly discharging excessive amounts of polluted stormwater into New York waters.

The defendants, per the complaint, own four properties under the entity “Capital Industries Corp.” that have been operating since 2003, and thus have been responsible for complying with the Clean Water Act (CWA) since. Riverkeeper alleges that the facility exposes stormwater to waste residue, machinery and dumpster materials, fuel, oil, metals and more.

The facility at issue, according to the complaint, is located 80 feet away from two stormwater drains that flow into the Saw Mill River, which flows into the Hudson River. Riverkeeper further claimed that the defendants were not covered by a General Permit and that they “had not complied with any provisions of the General Permit.”

Under the CWA, “each and every day” that the defendants have discharged stormwater without a permit is a “separate and distinct” violation of the law. Since they have not had a General or National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit, they have not maintained compliant “pollution prevention and control measures” to safeguard the environment. Especially since the Saw Mill River is already considered an “impaired water,” the defendants’ discharging of water imbued with “phosphorus, fecal coliform, and chlordane” only harms the river more. Thus, Riverkeeper is suing for seven violations of the Clean Water Act in an attempt to stop State Contracting Corp. of NY from continuing to pollute the river.

The plaintiff is seeking a declaration that the defendants violated the Clean Water Act, injunctive relief enjoining the defendants from discharging pollutants outside of the extent of their NPDES permit, an order to immediately apply for a General Permit and remedy the harm that they have caused, civil penalties, attorney’s fees and costs, and other relief.

Riverkeeper is represented by Super Law Group, LLC.

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