Beach Haven Apartments Fined $400,000 For Dumping Raw Sewage Into Coney Island Creek

Aerial photo of the Coney Island Creek via the Coney Island Creek Resiliency Study.

GRAVESEND – Beach Haven Apartments, the 16 apartment building complex in Gravesend, has been fined $400,000 for dumping untreated sewage as much as 200,000 gallons daily back in August of 2016 into Coney Island Creek.

This is the largest fine New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has ever levied against an apartment complex for discharging raw sewage into NYC waters, DEC says. Beach Haven Apartments Associates, LLC. have agreed to implement a “rigorous best management practices plan” to prevent this happening again, in addition to the $400,000 fine.

Majority of the fine – $350,000 –  will go to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and the American Littoral Society for projects within the Coney Island Creek watershed that address “water quality, green infrastructure, the creation or improvement of open space and waterfront access, ecological and recreational programs, stormwater management, and green jobs training. The remaining $50,000 will support DEC’s marine resources protection efforts”, a statement from DEC clarifies.

Locals have been trying to get it a SUPERFUND site designation, similar to Gowanus Canal, in order to remediate the pollution from decades of industrial waste and combined sewer overflows that have been discharged into the creek that separates Coney Island from Gravesend. Coney Island Creek is so polluted that deploying oysters to clean it up, as has been successfully done elsewhere along Brooklyn waterfront, has been deemed not possible.

If you’d like to learn more about Coney Island Creek, NYC Department for Environmental Protection has studies available, and Coney Island Creek Resiliency Study is a thorough read.

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Liena Zagare

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