Going After Those who Pollute our Environment
The District Attorney’s Office has focused new attention on protecting the environment and prosecuting those who pollute or violate environmental regulations. Working with New York City Department of Environmental Protection and New York State Department of environmental Conservation, the DA’s Office is now spending resources to investigate these crimes.
In September 2015, a Bedford-Stuyvesant company and its manager pleaded guilty to rigging an underground bypass line to secretly dump industrial waste into the sewer system that leads to the highly-polluted Newtown Creek in Greenpoint. Employees at Control Electropolishing Corp., a firm that provides metal cleaning services to a wide array of industries, disposed of unprocessed and unneutralized hazardous waste and sludge in violation of DEP permits.
When inspectors showed up, the defendant instructed workers to insert a plug in order to conceal the illegal pipe, which bypassed a tank that was supposed to treat the wastewater. The company pleaded guilty to endangering public health, safety or the environment and to disposal of hazardous waste without authorization and agreed to pay a $110,000 fine.
Less than two weeks earlier, another company was held accountable for similarly violating environmental laws by failing to monitor its discharge into Brooklyn’s sewer system. Red Hook-based Dell’s Maraschino Cherries pleaded guilty after a long-term investigation found that the company dumped acidic wastewater that was not properly treated as required.
Brooklyn residents are entitled to live in clean and safe surroundings, and so, investigations into environmental crimes in the borough will continue.