NEW YORK (Legal Newsline) - New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced a $960,000 agreement with New York City on Thursday that will fund clean water projects in the Long Island Sound and the upper East River.
The agreement partially resolves penalties assessed against the city for allegedly falling behind schedule in upgrading nitrogen pollution controls at its Queens-based Tallman Island wastewater treatment plant. The schedule was part of a legal agreement between the state and New York City requiring upgrades to nitrogen controls at eight of its 14 wastewater treatment plants.
“New Yorkers place a tremendous value on clean water,” Schneiderman said. “Through this agreement, we are working with New York City to continue to reduce pollution discharges and to improve the health of the East River and Long Island Sound. By committing to these investments today, we are enriching the public’s use and enjoyment of these waters for generations to come.”
In 2006, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the New York City Department of Environmental Protection entered into a court-ordered agreement to reduce the discharge of nitrogen pollution from the city's wastewater treatment plants. Excess nitrogen can cause algae blooms that deplete oxygen, harm fish and damage other aquatic life.
New York City allegedly fell behind on meeting its construction completion milestone at the Tallman Island plant. The agreement on Thursday modifies the 2006 agreement, as amended in 2011, with regard to the schedule. The state granted the city's request to move a deadline for completing the Tallman Island project from January 31 to July 31, a deadline the city met.
In return for the schedule modification, the city agreed to pay $1.2 million in penalties, including a $240,000 penalty that will support the state's coast fisheries and a $960,000 penalty to fund environmental improvement projects.