Riverkeeper and a coalition of environmental and fishing groups sue New York City’s Department of Environmental Protection for polluting Esopus Creek, a once-pristine trout stream in the Catskills section of the NYC watershed, in violation of the Clean Water Act.

Riverkeeper settles a lawsuit on behalf of a national coalition of environmental groups against the EPA, forcing agencies to promulgate regulations under 316(b) of the Clean Water Act which require industrial facility operators to employ the “best technology available” to “minimize adverse environmental impacts on….”.

Alex Matthiessen becomes the Hudson Riverkeeper and Executive Director of Riverkeeper.

John Lipscomb becomes Riverkeeper’s Boat Captain, patrolling the Hudson River from New York Harbor to Troy in search of polluters aboard the R. Ian Fletcher, a 36-foot wooden patrol and research vessel. Lipscomb logs 1000 engine hours or 6000 miles in his first year, establishing a full-time presence on the River.


Riverkeeper launches a campaign to force the closure of the Indian Point nuclear power plant based on concerns related to safety, security, and environmental impacts.


Riverkeeper leads a coalition filing suit against the DEC to force it to reconsider the outdated Clean Water Act permits of four Hudson River power plants (Indian Point, Roseton, Bowline, Danskammer) which continue to use antiquated once-through cooling systems.


Riverkeeper persuades the EPA to establish a 153-mile “No Discharge” zone on the Hudson, preventing boats from releasing treated and untreated sewage into the river.

DEC agrees to issue updated Clean Water Act permits for the Indian Point, Bowline, Roseton and Danskammer power plants.

Riverkeeper and a coalition of environmental groups resolve differences with MBIA Insurance Corporation which proposed a development in the Kensico Reservoir watershed. Their agreement on a low-impact plan for the development safeguards water quality in the Kensico Reservoir.


Riverkeeper and six Greenpoint residents file suit against the ExxonMobil Corporation for violation of the Clean Water Act and Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. Since the 1940s, over 17 million gallons of oil have been leaking from ExxonMobil and other oil companies’ facilities beneath Greenpoint, Brooklyn and into Newtown Creek which feeds into New York Harbor.


The Albany Steam Generating Station, which used once-through cooling, is retired, and replaced by the Bethlehem Energy Center (BEC). Riverkeeper negotiates with new owner PG&E to adopt closed-cycle cooling that reduces fish kills by 98% and state-of-the-art pollution control technology.


Riverkeeper sues DEC and Dynegy, owner of the Danskammer Generating Facility in Newburgh, challenging DEC’s renewal of Danskammer’s Clean Water Act permit despite the fact that it has not complied with federal and state mandates to use the “best technology available” to avoid fish kills.

Riverkeeper urges the New York State Department of Transportation to rehabilitate the Tappan Zee Bridge instead of constructing a new replacement bridge.


The U.S. Supreme Court declines NYC’s appeal in the Esopus Creek case, a victory for Riverkeeper and the NYC watershed.

Riverkeeper releases Sustainable Raindrops: Cleaning New York Harbor by Greening the Urban Landscape, which offers green solutions to the problem of combined sewage overflows (CSOs).

Entergy, owner/operator of Indian Point nuclear power plants, submits its relicensing application to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for a 20-year extension of its two reactors.

New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo files suit against ExxonMobil to force a cleanup of the Greenpoint oil spill.

Riverkeeper and other environmental groups help negotiate a compromise for a modified version of the Belleayre Resorts at Catskill Park to ensure protection of environmentally sensitive land and water quality in the NYC watershed.

Riverkeeper, the New York State Attorney General, and the DEC file intervention papers to formally oppose Entergy’s relicensing application for Indian Point.


The Waterkeeper Alliance numbers 182 keeper organizations in the United States and around the world.

The U.S. Supreme Court agrees to hear Riverkeeper’s case against the EPA on whether cost-benefit analyses can be used to determine the best technology available for power plants.

Riverkeeper releases The Status of Fish Populations and the Ecology of the Hudson, a report produced by Pisces Conservation Ltd which reveals that 10 of 13 key Hudson River fish species studied have declined in abundance since the 1980s.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission grants Riverkeeper a hearing on three of the five contentions in its petition against the relicensing of Indian Point.

Riverkeeper and Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory post findings of their joint water quality testing program in the Hudson River. Results of the ongoing testing are made available to the public on the Riverkeeper website.