Harriman Commons Mall Developer Pays $30,000 Fine For Violating Environmental Law

Attorney General Spitzer and State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Erin M. Crotty today announced the guilty plea of a construction company for its failure to protect a nearby stream during the development of a 60 acre shopping mall located in the towns of Woodbury and Monroe. The stream is a tributary of the Ramapo River, which serves as a source of drinking water for approximately two million New Jersey residents.

FBG Shop Center LLP., through its subsidiary RD Management Inc., has paid a $30,000 fine after pleading guilty to a criminal offense in Woodbury Town Court. The company admitted that it had continually violated the storm water State Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (SPDES) permit during construction of the mall.

Inspectors from the DEC found that beginning in the summer of 1999, RD Management had violated the storm water management plan. The plan was required by the DEC and was designed to prevent contamination of the stream. Despite repeated warnings from DEC inspectors and police officers, the company permitted storm water runoff from the construction site to enter the stream, violating water quality standards.

"Developers need to understand they cannot ignore environmental laws to save money at the expense of the environment." Spitzer said. "We will continue to work with the DEC to ensure that protection permits are enforced and companies do not pollute the state's environment as a matter of convenience."

"SPDES permits are a vital tool used to control the impacts resulting from stormwater discharges," Commissioner Crotty said. "As part of our effort to protect New York's water resources, DEC will aggressively pursue enforcement actions against developers who violate their permit requirements and conditions."

The case was handled by Assistant Attorney General Mary B. Kavaney, under the supervision of Rocky Piaggione Chief of the Environmental Crimes Unit, and Criminal Prosecution Bureau Chief Janet Cohn.