As the Hudson River has been getting cleaner, more and more people have been using it. It has become an important place for recreation, whether it is kayaking or paddleboarding. There are still problems with pollution in the river, and it has been made worse by the illegal dumping of raw sewage. A recent whistleblower lawsuit filed against the ferry company NY Waterway said that they have been illegally dumping raw sewage and other pollutants into New York Harbor and nearby waterways for years.
It is shameful that NY Waterway allegedly illegally dumped raw sewage for years. This is a clear violation of the Clean Water Act. What’s worse is that the EPA looked into the claims in 2016 but didn’t hold the company accountable or make them stop. This lack of enforcement by the EPA even though they knew about the violations leads to more pollution and more violations. More companies around the river are going to be careless or deliberately dump into the river because they think they can get away with it.
DEP should have been enforcing this even though the EPA looked the other way. NJ has jurisdiction over the Hudson River. They are supposed to be doing water monitoring and sending out boats to make sure that no violations are taking place. If NY Waterway has been illegally dumping in the Hudson River for years under the DEP’s nose, DEP should have smelled the sewage. There needs to be an investigation into why EPA didn’t enforce and why New Jersey didn’t act. We cannot allow polluters to get away with illegally dumping on our state for years without doing anything to stop them.
Jeff Tittel, Director of the New Jersey Sierra Club