Apr 24, 2018

Environmental Groups Suing New York Over Water Pollution Permits

Riverkeeper and Waterkeeper Alliance sued the state Department of Environmental Conservation

Two New York environmental groups sue state over water pollution permits

In reaction to a particular water pollution permit required of thousands of businesses across the state of New York, Riverkeeper and Waterkeeper Alliance, two state environmental groups, are suing the state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC).

The permit in question has to do with water pollution, specifically regarding how industry companies go about discharging storm water into rivers and streams. The lawsuit was deliberated in the state Supreme Court, and involved arguments from the two environmental groups claiming the permit is too easy on industrial storm water discharge, fearing the chemical and debris content of the discharge would deplete oxygen, which could be harmful to fish and other aquatic life.

“The state’s general permit for industrial storm water discharges violates state and federal law and adds insult to injury, allowing the release of high levels of harmful pollutants into already impaired water,” said Daniel Estrin, lawyer for Waterkeeper Alliance. “It also illegally allows discharges of industrial waste into our most iconic and treasured lakes, such as Lake George and Lake Placid.”

This development follows DEC’s recent revision of the permit on March 1, 2018. While the permit is in accordance with the federal Clean Water Act, the environmental groups believe the legislation is too relaxed regarding oxygen-depleting pollution.

Representatives for DEC declined to comment on the pending litigation.