The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has fined Beach Haven Apartment Associates, LLC $400,000 for the illegal discharge of sewage in Coney Island Creek, marking the largest fine ever issued against a residential apartment complex for discharging sewage in New York City Waters.
According to the DEC, the complex was responsible for discharging the sewage in August of 2016.
“This enforcement action and penalty levied against Beach Haven Apartments Associates, LLC., will help restore Coney Island Creek and its watershed while sending a strong message to other polluters — illegally discharging sewage into New York’s waters will not be tolerated,” NYS DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said.
The state is also ordering the complex to create a rigorous future plan to ensure that sewage will not be discharged into the creek.
City Councilmember Mark Treyger, State Sen. Diane Savino, and Assemblymember Pamela Harris praised the latest news, but they all stressed the importance of making sure the funds raised through fines are allocated toward improving the creek.
“Unlike similarly contaminated bodies of water, Coney Island Creek does not have dedicated funding for environmental remediation, despite dire need,” Treyger emphasized.
However, according to the DEC, only $350,000 will be dedicated toward the creek. Those funds will pay for an effort by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and the American Littoral Society to facilitate Coney Island Creek-based environmental projects addressing ecological programs, stormwater management, green jobs training, water quality, the creation of open space, and green infrastructure, according to the state.
The remaining $50,000 will support the DEC’s marine resources protection efforts.