Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

Delaware Riverkeeper Sends Notice of Intent to Sue Sportsmen's Club

Delaware Riverkeeper

The Delaware Riverkeeper Network (DRN) provided notice of its intent to sue the Italian American Sportsmen’s Club (IASC) under the Environmental Rights Act for its longtime violations of New Jersey’s Freshwater Wetlands Protection Act (FWPA). For the last ten years, IASC has failed to record a conservation easement required by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) on a portion of the IASC property it is now attempting to sell for development. The prospective buyer, Sharbell Development Corporation, plans to subdivide the property and build fifty-two (52) single-family residences, including on the area that should be protected by the easement.

New Jersey’s Environmental Rights Act enables any person, including a public interest organization like DRN, to commence a legal action against any other entity that is in violation of the state’s environmental laws. Before bringing the action, the intended defendant in the action must be given thirty (30) days’ notice to remedy the violations.

“Natural wetlands provide water quality protection to our streams and rivers, they protect communities from flooding, and they provide habitat for the birds and wildlife that grace our lives. DEP’s failure to adequately enforce the state’s environmental laws in a case like this requires citizens, and in this instance, the Delaware Riverkeeper Network, to step in and do their job for them. It is clear to everyone involved that the IASC is violating the law and that by doing so they are subjecting all of their neighbors to a level of threat and harm that cannot be tolerated,” said Maya van Rossum, the Delaware Riverkeeper. “This project represents yet another example of how developers are attempting to shirk their duties to manage stormwater that flows off their site, and instead pass the problem to downstream and abutting landowners.  It is shameful when the state won’t do its job to protect our communities and environment and instead is more interested in pandering to the whims of big business and developers,” van Rossum said.

In 2001, DEP granted IASC a wetlands transition area waiver allowing IASC to develop property in the buffer area of wetlands provided IASC record a conservation easement on a portion of its neighboring property. More than ten (10) years later, the project has been long completed; however, IASC has yet to record the conservation easement. This is a clear violation of the FWPA. Now, IASC is attempting to sell the should-be restricted property. While DEP issued IASC a notice of violation ten (10) months ago for its noncompliance with the freshwater wetlands laws, IASC still remains in violation and DEP still fails to take the appropriate enforcement action.

According to the Delaware Riverkeeper Network’s website: Wetlands provide a number of important benefits, including storing and slowing the release of stormwater, improving water quality by filtering out pollutants, recharging groundwater (including aquifers), preventing erosion, and providing habitat for the some of the most biologically productive ecosystems in the world. Wetlands also help guard against the loss of property and life by reducing the intensity of and frequency of flooding by slowing the release of rainfall runoff.

“By failing to ensure full compliance with the wetlands laws, DEP is not fulfilling its legal obligations to safeguard NJ’s citizens from the consequences of flooding. The public has been asking DEP to take a firm stance on this issue. As DEP has failed to sufficiently act, we have moved forward under the Environmental Rights Act to ensure IASC’s compliance with environmental laws,” says Nicholas Patton, Staff Attorney for the Delaware Riverkeeper Network.

For more information, click here.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Much of Eastern Oklahoma, including most of Tulsa, remains an Indian reservation, the Supreme Court ruled on Thursday. JustTulsa / CC BY 2.0

Much of Eastern Oklahoma, including most of Tulsa, remains an Indian reservation, the Supreme Court ruled on Thursday.

Read More Show Less
The Firefly Watch project is among the options for aspiring citizen scientists to join. Mike Lewinski / Wikimedia Commons / CC by 2.0

By Tiffany Means

Summer and fall are great seasons to enjoy the outdoors. But if you're already spending extra time outside because of the COVID-19 pandemic, you may be out of ideas on how to make fresh-air activities feel special. Here are a few suggestions to keep both adults and children entertained and educated in the months ahead, many of which can be done from the comfort of one's home or backyard.

Read More Show Less
People sit at the bar of a restaurant in Austin, Texas, on June 26, 2020. Texas Governor Greg Abbott ordered bars to be closed by noon on June 26 and for restaurants to be reduced to 50% occupancy. Coronavirus cases in Texas spiked after being one of the first states to begin reopening. SERGIO FLORES / AFP via Getty Images

The coronavirus may linger in the air in crowded indoor spaces, spreading from one person to the next, the World Health Organization acknowledged on Thursday, as The New York Times reported. The announcement came just days after 239 scientists wrote a letter urging the WHO to consider that the novel coronavirus is lingering in indoor spaces and infecting people, as EcoWatch reported.

Read More Show Less
A never-before-documented frog species has been discovered in the Peruvian highlands and named Phrynopus remotum. Germán Chávez

By Angela Nicoletti

The eastern slopes of the Andes Mountains in central Perú are among the most remote places in the world.

Read More Show Less
Left: Lemurs in Madagascar on March 30, 2017. Mathias Appel / Flickr. Right: A North Atlantic right whale mother and calf. National Marine Fisheries Service

A new analysis by scientists at the Swiss-based International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) found that lemurs and the North Atlantic right whale are on the brink of extinction.

Read More Show Less
Nobody knows exactly how much vitamin D a person actually needs. However, vitamin D is becoming increasingly popular. Colin Dunn / Flickr / CC by 2.0

By Julia Vergin

It is undisputed that vitamin D plays a role everywhere in the body and performs important functions. A severe vitamin D deficiency, which can occur at a level of 12 nanograms per milliliter of blood or less, leads to severe and painful bone deformations known as rickets in infants and young children and osteomalacia in adults. Unfortunately, this is where the scientific consensus ends.

Read More Show Less

Trending

Data from a scientist measuring macroalgal communities in rocky shores in the Argentinean Patagonia would be added to the new system. Patricia Miloslavich / University of Delaware

Ocean scientists have been busy creating a global network to understand and measure changes in ocean life. The system will aggregate data from the oceans, climate and human activity to better inform sustainable marine management practices.

EcoWatch sat down with some of the scientists spearheading the collaboration to learn more.

Read More Show Less