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Riverkeeper Commends Passage of Bill to Combat Illegal Dumping in NYC Waters

Riverkeeper and NYC SBS Dockmaster Unit

RvK and NYC SBS Dockmaster Unit patrol Gowanus Canal for polluters
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Tina Posterli, 914-478-4501 x 239

New Increased Fines Will Deter Lawbreakers

Tarrytown, NY- March 8, 2010 – Riverkeeper, New York’s leading clean water advocate, today commended the New York City Council for passing Int. 54-A, a bill substantially increasing penalties for illegal dumping in New York City Waters. The bill, passed unanimously by the City Council, creates a new civil penalty for dumping into the waterways where none currently exists, setting fines at not less than $1,500 or more than $10,000 for the first violation, and not less than $5,000 or more than $20,000 for each subsequent violation.

“The waters of New York City are a public resource that all New Yorkers have the right to enjoy,” said Riverkeeper Attorney & Chief Investigator Josh Verleun. “The passage of this bill sends a strong message to would-be-polluters that they will be held accountable if they dump in City waters.”

Riverkeeper has established a strong citizen enforcement presence on the waterways surrounding New York City through regular boat patrols and partnerships with a number of City Agencies, including the Small Business Services Dockmaster Unit, Kings County District Attorney, Department of Environmental Protection, New York City Police Department, Department of Sanitation, and others.

Riverkeeper testified before the New York City Council Waterfronts Committee on February 22, 2010 and wrote a letter to Speaker Christine C. Quinn supporting the bill; citing the need for greater penalties to act as an effective deterrent to combat illegal dumping.

“With over 570 miles of waterfront, it is imperative that we keep this precious resource clean for all New Yorkers,” said City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn. “This legislation will help us do just that by substantially increasing the penalty for illegal dumping into our waterways as well as giving several other city agencies a key role in ensuring our waterways are kept clean.”

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