Riverkeeper and Project Officials continue Discussions, hopeful for Out-of-Court Resolution

Talks continue between Riverkeeper, Inc., and project officials, who seek non-legal resolutions for violations Riverkeeper said result from the bridge project.

The watchdog group put the Thruway Authority and Tappan Zee Constructors, LLC on notice shortly after Christmas for violating the Endangered Species Act and Clean Water Act.

Riverkeeper criticized them for activities that caused resuspension of sediment on the river floor leading to turbid water and an increase in sturgeon mortalities.

Pace Environmental Litigation Clinic, Inc., representing Riverkeeper in this matter, said it “would be willing to discuss effective remedies for the violations noted in this letter.” If the Thruway Authority and TZC want to settle, then they must initiate discussion within 10 days of receiving the letter to arrange a meeting and complete negotiations before the 60-day period ends.

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Since then, “The Thruway Authority and Tappan Zee contractors have both reached out to us to discuss the serious issues raised in our two notice letters,” Riverkeeper and Pace Environmental Litigation Clinic said in a statement.

The productive talks will resume to find a solution without legal action.

“However, as of now, no new measures have been implemented at the project site to reduce sturgeon mortality or sediment resuspension violations, so Riverkeeper remains prepared, if necessary, to go to court,” the statement said.

Media specialist Leah Rea said Riverkeeper’s call to the National Marine Fisheries Service to provide immediate protective measures in the construction area is gaining public support. It estimates nearly 35,000 people nationally and worldwide signed the online petition, Help Protect the Hudson River’s Endangered Sturgeon Now.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2016

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