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2010 Achievements

Riverkeeper Patrol Boat - Photo courtesy Greg Porteus

Photo courtesy Greg Porteus
View more images on our Flickr site

As 2010 draws to a close, we’d like to reflect back on a year of historic achievements in defending our waterways and protecting the drinking water supply that over nine million of us rely on. The support of our members, concerned citizens and partner groups and agencies is the vital force behind every victory we win. We all can look back on the following accomplishments with pride, as we move forward in facing the challenges that lie ahead…together!

  • Riverkeeper’s six-year long enforcement initiative results in a settlement with Exxon and New York State requiring full cleanup of the largest oil spill in New York history, in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Under the agreement, Greenpoint residents will be the beneficiaries of a $19.5 million environmental benefit plan (also the largest in state history).
  • Riverkeeper succeeds in convincing New York State to deny Indian Point a key water quality certificate for failure to prevent fish kills, damaging IP’s prospects for relicensing
  • After years of lobbying by Riverkeeper and its partner groups, EPA issues a historic directive to General Electric to remedy decades of PCB contamination in the Hudson River. General Electric later agrees to EPA’s terms and New Yorkers are now finally poised to get their river back!
  • New York imposes a precedent-setting moratorium on gas drilling using the controversial “horizontal hydrofracking” method, after Riverkeeper’s Fractured Communities report reveals widespread environmental damage caused by fracking in other states
  • The federal government settles Riverkeeper vs. EPA federal government settles Riverkeeper vs. EPA, and commits to new regulations to prevent up to a trillion fish kills each year at 500 power plants and industrial facilities nationwide.
  • After major advocacy campaigns by Riverkeeper and Brooklyn groups, Newtown Creek and the Gowanus Canal are listed by the EPA as “national priority” superfund sites, guaranteeing long-overdue cleanups in each location.
  • New York City commits $2.1 billion to repair serious leaks in the Delaware aqueduct New York City commits $2.1 billion to repair serious leaks in the Delaware aqueduct, which delivers over half the region’s drinking water, after years of prodding by Riverkeeper.
  • New York State is about to issue a new water supply permit to NYC, requiring major new commitments by the City to land protection, water treatment infrastructure and green development in the Watershed.
  • New York City unveils a multi-billion DEP Green Infrastructure plan for stormwater and combined sewer overflow control, echoing proposals Riverkeeper made in its 2008 report Sustainable Raindrops.
  • Riverkeeper’s sampling program uncovers high levels of bacteria in dozens of locations along the Hudson, helping local activists in their fight for clean water.
  • Riverkeeper calls out Westchester County for failure to report sewage spills, forcing the county to change disclosure policies
  • Riverkeeper settles its enforcement action with Mirant Corporation over violations at their Lovett power plant, providing $119,000 to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation for its shad recovery program.
  • Greenpoint Brooklyn will get its kayak launches back, after Riverkeeper lobbies the New York City Department of Environmental Protection to reverse an earlier closure order
  • Riverkeeper helps shape critical law banning the use of phosphorus in dish-washing detergents and lawn fertilizers throughout New York.
  • Riverkeeper wins enforcement victories in Brooklyn: DEC fines 6th Street Iron and Metal $33,000 and orders restoration of Gowanus Canal and shoreline in front of scrap yard following Riverkeeper Notice of Intent to Sue; and Brooklyn DA accepts guilty plea and criminal fines from Quality Concrete and Constantine Quadrozzi settling long running case for polluting Newtown Creek from Cement Plant.

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