SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Local News

December 24, 2012

Conservation Law Foundation sues Danvers marina

DANVERS — A nonprofit environmental watchdog group has sued a privately owned marina on Harbor Street in federal court over what it says are numerous violations of the federal Clean Water Act.

The Boston-based Conservation Law Foundation claims in court documents Pope’s Landing Marine is discharging polluted stormwater and pressure wash runoff into the Porter River and waters beyond without a permit.

Pope’s Landing Marine owner Thomas E. Cargill III said he expects the lawsuit, which was filed Dec. 5 in U.S. District Court in Boston, to go away “very soon,” and stated: “We are in full compliance.” Cargill said he has hired an attorney in Boston, and he declined further comment. The marina’s website says the outdoor storage facility can store up to 118 boats.

The environmental group claims the marina has failed to develop a stormwater pollution prevention plan, provide information about its discharges into “impaired waters,” failed to take measures to control and cover materials and operations, failed to conduct routine inspections, monitor stormwater and failed to keep and submit the required monitoring data. It says the violations date back at least to Oct. 1, 2007.

“Our overriding concern is protection of the natural resources,” said Vermont attorney Zachary K. Griefen, an enforcement litigator with the Conservation Law Foundation. The Porter River eventually flows into the Danvers River, Beverly Harbor, Salem Sound and the Atlantic Ocean. Most of these waters are considered “impaired” by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for pathogens, the lawsuit says.

The organization claims that when it rains or snows, the water coming off the marina picks up paint solids, heavy metals, debris, solvents, dust, oil, anti-freeze, fuel, trash and other pollutants that eventually find their way into the river and Salem Sound.

The marina is just one of several Conservation Law Foundation has sued recently.

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