After a recent step-up in pressure by Riverkeeper for enforcement at the highly polluted Millen’s Scrap Yard at Rondout Creek in Kingston, New York, the DEC issued a finding that the owner’s failure to meet the requirements of a 1998 Order on Consent constituted a violation of that Order. Located at the mouth of a beautiful and historic creek, the Scrap Yard has long been an environmental blight with migrating contaminants including petroleum compounds, metals, PCBs, and VOCs.
Since 2001, Riverkeeper boat captain John Lipscomb has observed the refuse strewn, polluted site and heard accounts of delayed enforcement efforts. In late 2006, Riverkeeper attorney Rebecca Troutman began an investigation and requested immediate, appropriate enforcement on the site. Soon after, DEC issued a new 2006 Notice of Violation. However, due to continued delays by the site’s owner, Riverkeeper continued to press for more comprehensive agency action, including a finding that the site was in violation of the original 1998 Order to remediate. DEC has recently agreed with Riverkeeper on this larger point, issuing a four page statement of violation of the 1998 Order, and outlining years of remediation failure.
We will continue to monitor this case closely.