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Riverkeeper Files Notice of Intent to Sue Accord Speedway

For Immediate Release: May 28, 2009
Contact: Andrea Kott
914-478-4501 x 239
[email protected]

Riverkeeper Files Notice of Intent to Sue Accord Speedway
Polluted runoff into pristine trout stream violates federal environmental laws

(Tarrytown, NY) Riverkeeper has served the Accord Speedway with a notice of its intent to sue for continuously polluting a nearby stream and connected wetlands with turbid water, which Riverkeeper believes is laced with pesticides, anti-freeze, oil, grease and other petroleum products. Citing violations of the federal Clean Water Act (CWA) and Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), Riverkeeper is now preparing to file a case in federal court.

According to Riverkeeper investigator and attorney Joshua Verleun, the Ulster County racetrack has been illegally dumping a noxious blend of pollutants including turbidity, suspended solids, and settleable solids into the North Peter’s Kill, a pristine trout stream and tributary of Rondout Creek. “The operation of this large scale raceway without proper environmental controls is ruining this pristine trout stream,” Verleun said.

These illegal discharges are directly entering the North Peter’s Kill from several discrete points along the track’s “pit road.” Riverkeeper has documented the Speedway collecting polluted track runoff from a low point in the track’s infield and pumping it into a field on the southern portion of the property, adjoining a wetland area that connects to the North Peter’s Kill.

Riverkeeper also alleges that the Speedway is operating an open dump in violation of RCRA’s ban on open dumping. The open dumping regulations contain specific requirements for facilities that dispose of waste. In this instance the Speedway’s collection, pumping, and dumping of runoff from the track constitutes “liquid waste” that is being discarded in violation of waste disposal requirements. Any facility that accepts or dumps waste without following these requirements is considered to be an open dump. “It is unacceptable that there are no systems in place to prevent turbidity, oil, gas, and other chemicals from running directly into the North Peter’s Kill and connected wetlands,” Verleun said.

A Notice of Intent to Sue (NOIS), which Riverkeeper served on May 19, is the first step in initiating a citizen suit under the CWA and RCRA. During the required 60-day waiting period New York State is given the opportunity to step in and file their own enforcement case and the polluter is given an opportunity to halt all violations. Following the waiting period Riverkeeper will file a case in federal court if violations persist and the state has not enforced against the Speedway.

Riverkeeper is an independent environmental watchdog organization dedicated to protecting the Hudson River, its tributaries, and the watersheds that comprise the New York City drinking water supply. Since 1965, we have brought thousands of environmental lawbreakers to justice, forcing more than $1 billion in fines and remediation projects.

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