Sandy Hook/Highlands, NJ – Today, Clean Ocean Action (COA) is releasing two letters to seek action against Agate Construction Co., Inc. for illegally dumping muck and debris into the ocean off Deal, NJ in February.
The law office of Litwin & Provence sent a letter on March 11 to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) on COA’s behalf which urged the NJDEP to cite Agate for violating the Clean Water Act when they illegally dumped the material excavated from the Poplar Brook Stream Stabilization site into the Atlantic Ocean in February.
Today COA sent a letter asking NJDEP to conduct tests on the material dumped and make the information available to the public.
“They were caught with mud on their hands by local defenders of the ocean and must be held accountable. Let this serve as a clear message to others, if you pollute you will be caught and prosecuted to the fullest extent of ALL laws,” said Cindy Zipf, Executive Director.
In February, Agate was witnessed dumping material into the Atlantic off the coast of Monmouth County near Deal, NJ. On Friday, February 19, 2016, COA called for immediate action against Agate by federal and state officials.
To date, Agate (who was subcontracted by Manson Construction) was ordered by the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to stop work and remove the material from the beach. In addition, the NJDEP has issued a Notice of Violation for violations of the Coastal Area Facility Review Act (CAFRA) and the Waterfront Development Act (WDA).
Zachary Lees, Ocean Policy Attorney for COA stated, “NJDEP has a duty to ensure public health and safety is protected; we have the right to know what was in that mud. How can NJDEP determine the proper enforcement actions and penalties to levy against Agate Construction if they don’t know the content and quantity of the muck?”