PORT CHESTER, N.Y. - Officials in Port Chester have reached a settlement with several local organizations to repair their aging sewer system in a safe, environmentally friendly matter.
Save the Sound, Soundkeeper, Inc. and Atlantic Clam Farms announced that they have reached a settlement with the Village of Port Chester regarding a federal case that was brought by the groups in 2015, ensuring that officials repair a sewer system that has allegedly been leaking sewage into waterways no later than 2019.
According to the lawsuit, the sewer lines that run under Port Chester streets and lawns have been leaking raw sewage into waterways, causing low oxygen, high bacteria levels and long-term harm to the Long Island Sound.
As part of the settlement, Port Chester will make repairs to its sewage system to fully comply with the limits of the Westchester County Environmental Facilities Sew Act no later than the end of 2019. While Port Chester has agreed, the groups still have lawsuits in effect for 10 other municipalities regarding their sewer systems.
The groups noted that, “many residents of Westchester County don’t realize that poorly maintained sewer pipes are the main reason that beaches are closed after rain, and why harvesting clams or oysters in local bays and harbors is prohibited. However, the County and municipalities are aware of this ongoing pollution and have known since at least 2003 that actions taken to date have been woefully inadequate to solve the problem.”
The complete complaint from 2015 can be read here .
“We applaud Port Chester for leading in this matter and agreeing to an enforceable court order to repair their lines and stop sewage leaks in a timely manner by the end of 2019,” Save the Sound Legal Director Roger Reynolds said. “This is precisely what we have been seeking from the County and all of the towns by bringing this litigation.
“We hope the County and the rest of the towns will follow their example and finally end these sewage spills that have been polluting Long Island Sound and creating public health hazards for decades.”
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