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Riverkeeper Announces Major Victory in Gowanus Canal Enforcement Campaign

Gowanus Canal

Photo: J.Verleun
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Contact: Tina Posterli, Riverkeeper, 914-478-4501 x 239 tposterli@riverkeeper.org

DEC Fines MCIZ and related Corporations $482,750 for years of pollution violations

Ossining, NY – February 16, 2011– Riverkeeper announced today that the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has fined MCIZ Corporation and a host of other companies owned by Jacob Marmurstein $482,750 for years of dumping pollution into the Gowanus Canal.
Riverkeeper originally filed a Notice of Intent to Sue (NOIS) against 107 Sixth Street LLC and 36-2nd J Corp (two of the companies owned by Mr. Marmurstein) in September, 2009 as part of its Gowanus Canal enforcement campaign for operating an open dump and filling the Canal from a parking lot on their property.

“We commend the DEC for taking this action and levying a substantial penalty for years of environmental abuses by MCIZ,” said Josh Verleun, Riverkeeper Chief Investigator and Staff Attorney. “This action and recent enforcement efforts by the DEC and Kings County District Attorney’s office underscore the importance of vigilant enforcement against environmental law-breakers. With this type of dedication to serious enforcement, polluters will get the message loud and clear that our waterways are not open sewers and dumping grounds.”

On at least seven boat patrols and a helicopter patrol from May to November 2009, Riverkeeper observed and documented waste materials, debris and other illegal fill on the properties comprising the 6th Street Bus Yard operated by MCIZ, being deposited and dumped along the shore and into the Gowanus Canal. The materials that were dumped included concrete, rusted piping, wood, metal, plastic, and construction and demolition debris.

Riverkeeper’s ongoing efforts on Brooklyn’s waterways include regular boat patrols, water quality testing and a partnership with the Kings County District Attorney, the New York City Department of Small Business Services Dockmaster Unit, and the DEC aimed at coordinating surveillance and enforcement efforts on the Gowanus Canal, Newtown Creek, and other New York City waterways.

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