The Village of Northport has agreed to address illegal discharges of pollutants and will comply with EPA’s administrative orders that required the village to prevent pollutants from its sewer system from entering Northport Bay.
In a federal consent decree announced Wednesday, the village also agreed to pay civil penalties of $125,000 to meet Clean Water Act standards.
“The United States brought this action to ensure that Northport meets its obligation to protect water quality by developing and enforcing a program to eliminate the discharge of unpermitted pollutants from its storm sewer system,” said United States Attorney Richard Donoghue. “Specifically, the resolution of this case is designed to prevent pollutants, such as raw sewage travelling through Northport’s storm sewers, from discharging into Northport Harbor and Northport Bay, which flow into the Long Island Sound. This Office is committed to vigorously enforcing the CWA against parties who discharge pollutants into the waters of the United States.”
The lawsuit and consent decree were filed in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York, in Central Islip.
Northport owns and operates a municipal separate storm sewer system known as MS4 that includes numerous catch basins in which storm water is collected and discharged through connecting pipe segments to 19 outfalls. The outfalls discharge into Northport Harbor and Northport Bay and flow into the Long Island Sound.
Donoghue said that after inspections in 2011, the EPA determined that storm sewer system discharged illicit contaminants, including raw sewage, into Northport Harbor. The EPA and the village reached agreement on three administrative orders from 2012 through 2013 to bring Northport into compliance with the CWA and the sewer system permit but the village did not meet the requirements, which led to Wednesday’s decision.
The State of New York is a plaintiff and a party to the consent decree. Following a 30-day public comment period, the United States will review any comments and, if appropriate, ask the court to enter the consent decree.
Northport Consent Judgment