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Tuesday, October 4, 2022
Home Green Beaver Swamp Brook Illegal Dumping @ Rye Neck High School

Illegal Dumping @ Rye Neck High School

(PHOTO: The location of the Rye Neck tennis courts is shown in the circle. Beaver Swamp Brook is just to the left and flows down in the direction of the red arrow to the East Basin of Mamaroneck Harbor and the Long Island Sound.)
(PHOTO: The location of the Rye Neck tennis courts is shown in the circle. Beaver Swamp Brook is just to the left and flows down in the direction of the red arrow to the East Basin of Mamaroneck Harbor and the Long Island Sound.)

Multiple agencies including the Rye PD, County Hazmat and NY State DEC responded to an illegal dumping situation on the ground of Rye Neck High School on Saturday, August 27th. A good Samaritan called in the concern – a contractor washing paint out onto the ground and into a local waterway.

The school had hired National Installation – GC Corp of Long Island to repaint its tennis courts. After completing the painting, workers for the company washed out the paint tubs onto the grassy area adjacent to the tennis courts. 

(PHOTO: Paint used by National Installation – GC Corp can be seen on the ground leading into the local waterway.)
(PHOTO: Paint used by National Installation – GC Corp can be seen on the ground leading into the local waterway.)

The DEC told MyRye.com most of the non-toxic paint material evaporated or was absorbed into the soil and a small amount was washed into the local waterway, the Beaver Swamp Brook wetland. The wetland becomes Guion Creek and then flows into the East Basin of Mamaroneck Harbor and the Long Island Sound.

(PHOTO: The drums of paint used by National Installation – GC Corp that was spilled on the ground and into the local waterway.)
(PHOTO: The drums of paint used by National Installation – GC Corp that was spilled on the ground and into the local waterway.)

“Any chemicals and pollutants that go down a storm drain are going to make their way to a local water body, and then ultimately in our region, they’re going to go down to the Sound,” said Peter Linderoth, director of water quality at Save the Sound.

Rye PD cited the job foreman, Fernando Yanez of Long Island City, for violating City Code for 157-31 (dumping in streets or streams) before turning the scene over to County Hazmat and the DEC. 

(PHOTO: The Hazmat Emergency Response Team from Westchester County was one of the agencies that responded to the August 27th spill.)
(PHOTO: The Hazmat Emergency Response Team from Westchester County was one of the agencies that responded to the August 27th spill.)

Two DEC environmental conservation police officers were on scene the day of the spill and a DEC spill responder was also assigned and visited to ensure the cleanup was meeting the stringent requirements that are protective of public health and the environment. The DEC reports all impacted soil was excavated, the affected catch basin was bailed out and cleaned, and wastewater was collected in drums and readied for disposal. 

National Installation & GC Corporation, the contractor hired by the Rye Neck School District, was issued tickets by the DEC for two charges: 1) ECL 17-0501.1 Cause contravention of standards 1st degree, and 2) 6NYCRR 360.9(b)(3)(i) Illegal Disposal of Solid Waste. The tickets are returnable to the City of Rye Court on September 27th at 9 am. 

If found responsible, it is expected National Installation & GC Corporation will be responsible for the clean-up costs. Superintendent of Schools at Rye Neck School District Eric Lutinski confirmed the painting contractors were hired by the district via public bid and were working on the tennis courts. 

“Our understanding is that after completing the job, paint residue ran into the brook, which is what triggered the complaint. There were no tickets or fines issued to the district. Our understanding is that the contractor performed unspecified cleanup activities on August 27, which I believe have closed the matter,” Lutinski told MyRye.com.

He did not indicate if the district would remove National Installation – GC Corp of Long Island from any current or future contracts.

If You See Something …

If you see illegal dumping or something you believe is an environmental crime, the public can call the New York State DEC SPILLS Hotline at 1-800-457-7362 or report the violation to DEC Law Enforcement at 1-844-DEC-ECOS. You should also call Rye PD at 914-967-1234, and send a report to Save the Sound at pollution@savethesound.org along with any photos and details. The DEC, Rye PD and Save the Sound each provide separate enforcement and watchdog functions.

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