Safe Drinking Water Act Enforcement: U.S. Attorney's Office (Eastern District New York) Enters into Civil Settlement with County of Suffolk, New York

Mitchell, Williams, Selig, Gates & Woodyard, P.L.L.C.

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The United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York (“AUSA”) entered into Consent Decree and Judgment (“Decree”) with the County of Suffolk, New York, and the following:

  • Suffolk County Department of Parks and Recreation
  • Suffolk County Department of Public Works

(collectively, “Suffolk County”)

The Decree resolves Suffolk County’s alleged violations of the federal Safe Drinking Water Act.

The AUSA had filed a Complaint in the United States District Court (Eastern District of New York) alleging that Suffolk County operated:

  • Large capacity cesspools (“LCC”) at 24 locations
  • Motor vehicle waste disposal wells (“MVWDW”) at two locations
  • Previously operated additional LCCs at 5 locations
  • Previously operated MVWDWs at 5 locations

The current and previous operation of these LCCs and MVWDWs constitute a violation of the Safe Drinking Water Act.

The Safe Drinking Water Act underground injection regulations required Suffolk to close all LCCs by April 2005 and MVWDWs by 2008.

The Decree provides a schedule for closure of both the LCCs and MVWDWs which is judicially enforceable. Further, it provides that LCCs associated with most buildings will be converted to what is denominated Innovative Alternative Solutions focusing on the area of nitrogen reduction to nutrient compromised waters and protection of groundwater on Long Island.

Certain closure measures are stated to have already been implemented by Suffolk County.

A $200,000 penalty is assessed.

A copy of the Decree can be downloaded here.

Written by:

Mitchell, Williams, Selig, Gates & Woodyard, P.L.L.C.

Mitchell, Williams, Selig, Gates & Woodyard, P.L.L.C. on:

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