Re: Sixty (60) Day Notice of Intent to Sue Pursuant to Federal Clean Water Act – Dredge
and Fill Rainbow and Brown Trout Spawning Tributaries to the Upper Delaware River
by the Town of Hancock, New York
Dear Mr. Rowe:
I am the President the Friends of the Upper Delaware River, (FUDR) a non-profit
organization with principal offices at 306 Helfer Lane, Minoa, NY 13116, Phone
315-656-8313. FUDR has significant interest in protecting the natural waters
of the Upper Delaware River and its tributaries from harm and destruction.
Section 505(b) of the Federal Clean Water Act, (the “Act”), 33 U.S.C. Section
1365(b) requires that sixty (60) days prior to the filing of a citizens’ suit
in Federal District Court under Section 505(a) of the Act, 33 U.S.C.A. 1365(a),
the alleged violator, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (the “EPA”),
The United States Corps of Engineers, (The Corps), and the State in which the
violations occur must be given notice of the alleged violations, and of intent
to bring a citizens’ suit action.
FUDR hereby provides notice of intent to sue the Town of Hancock, New York,
the individuals Samuel N. Rowe, Jr., Supervisor of the City of Hancock, Garyling
A. Martin Supervisor of Highways, of the Town of Hancock, Councilmen William
Weyrauch, Glen Kessler, Paul Vetrone and James Gardner, councilmen for the
Town of Hancock, New York and for the following violations of Sections 301
and 404 of the Federal Clean Water Act, 33 U.S.C.A. 1301(a) and 1344 for dredging,
channelizing and filling natural streams, brooks and creeks as tributaries
to the Upper Delaware River as follows:
Beginning on or about July 1, 2006, the above named individuals and the Town
of Hancock, New York did authorize, approve, and contract for the operation
of large construction equipment to enter into and dredge and fill at least
the following streams, creeks and brooks: (1).Fish Creek near the Village of
Fish’s Eddy; (2). Campbell Brook, near the Village of Shinhoppel; (3). City
Brook; (4).Tar Hollow Brook also near the Village of Fish’s Eddy; (5). Cadosia
Creek near the Village of Cadosia; (6). Bouchioux Creek near the Village of
Lordville; (7).Rood Creek near the City of Hancock; (8). Sands Creek also near
Hancock; and (9).Humphries and (10) Abe Lord Creeks near the Village of Lordville.
The above named water bodies are all known rainbow and brown trout spawning
streams for the Upper Delaware River, which is one if the best native rainbow
and brown trout waters in the Eastern United States. Destruction of these streams
by dredging, channelizing and filling, by those listed above, is a major disaster
not only to the tributary streams but to the Upper Delaware River. All life
in the streams has been destroyed by the actions of dredging and filling. The
physical, chemical and biological integrity of these streams has been destroyed.
In effect, naturally flowing, environmentally critical tributaries have been
turned into storm drains.
The Friends of the Upper Delaware River hereby places you on notice, pursuant
to 33 U.S.C. 1365(b) that the above action of dredging, channelizing and filling
with dredged material back into the creek, as well as back into the Delaware
River and by adding additional material including stone and other debris into
the former bed of the creek, in the above named streams is contrary to Sections
301 and 404 of the Federal Clean Water Act, 33 U.S.C. §1344. Further, causing
discharge of sediment and other pollutants within the tributary streams and
into the upper Delaware, is contrary to Section 301 and 402 of the Federal
Clean Water Act, 33 U.S.C. 1311 and 1342, without having a national pollutant
discharge elimination system (MTDES) permit.
Under Federal law, each day that you violate the Federal Clean Water Act
is a separate violation. Under 33 U.S.C. § 1319(d) of the Federal Clean Water
Act, the U.S. District Court may impose a civil penalty of up to Twenty-Five
Thousand Dollars (,000.00) per day, per stream for each violation under
both Section 404 and Section 402.
Further, the dredging, channelizing and filling described above constitute
violations of New York State’s Environmental Conservation Law, Article 15,
Title 5, Section 15-05-05 and 15-05-11.
We hereby request immediate cessation of such activities in these and any
other tributaries until further notice.
If you have any questions or wish to discuss this matter, please feel free
to contact me.
Click here to
view the archived articles.
to send comments or feedback on this
here to check out a river near you.