N.Y. Sues Waste Hauler for Dumping Raw Sewage

New York Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo has brought a lawsuit against a Westchester County-based waste hauling company and one of its employees for illegally dumping septic tank and cesspool waste containing raw sewage, condoms, sanitary napkins, and other noxious wastes into a neighborhood stream in the Town of New Castle that is a tributary to a New York City drinking water supply.

The stream is a tributary to the New Croton Reservoir, the final collecting reservoir for New York City’s “East-of-Hudson” (Croton) water system, which supplies roughly 10 percent of the city’s daily drinking water. Cuomo’s lawsuit seeks significant penalties for the violations and an order requiring the company to pay for the cleanup of the stream.

Cuomo’s suit charges that Timothy Price, a waste hauler for Chappaqua Septic, Inc., a business that provides septic tank and cesspool waste service in Westchester County, emptied the contents of a tanker trunk into an unnamed stream located in the area near 20 Woodland Road in New Castle in 2006. Subsequent testing confirmed that ─ in addition to offensive wastes ─ the dumping of raw sewage and cesspool waste polluted the stream with high levels of harmful bacteria associated with human waste.

The New Croton Reservoir is one of 12 reservoirs in the system and serves as the final collecting reservoir through which all Croton system water flows. It also receives water from its own watershed. Water from the New Croton Reservoir travels via aqueduct into the Jerome Park Reservoir in the Bronx. In addition to supplying roughly 10 percent of the city’s daily drinking water under normal conditions, the Croton system supplies up to 30 percent of its drinking water in times of drought.

Cuomo’s lawsuit, filed in State Supreme Court in Westchester County, seeks to require Price and Chappaqua Septic to pay more than $100,000 for violation of New York’s clean water laws. In addition, the defendants face penalties of up to $11,250 for violating Chappaqua Septic’s state-issued permit to transport and dispose of septic and cesspool wastes. Finally, the suit seeks a court order requiring the defendants to pay for the investigation and cleanup of the environmental damages caused by the illegal dumping.

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