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Bed-Stuy Company Fined $110K for Contaminating Newtown Creek, DA Says

By Serena Dai | September 30, 2015 6:59pm
 A company was fined for dumping hazardous waste that ended up in Newtown Creek.
A company was fined for dumping hazardous waste that ended up in Newtown Creek.
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GREENPOINT — A Bed-Stuy metal cleaning company was fined $110,000 after pleading guilty to illegally dumping waste into sewers and contaminating Newtown Creek with dangerous chemicals, the Brooklyn District Attorney announced Wednesday.

Control Electropolishing Corp.'s manager Manuel Acosta pleaded guilty to charges including illegal dumping in state waters, disposing of hazardous waste and endangering the public health, safety or the environment.

Between Nov. 22, 2013, and Jan. 9, 2014, the company dumped wastewater containing  high levels of chromium, copper, lead and nickel into sewers, that bypassed proper filtering measures and eventually ended up in the Newtown Creek, according to the DA's office.

Each time the Department of Environmental Protection inspectors came by during that period, Acosta told employees to disable the illegal bypass that allowed them to dump the waste into the sewer system, according to the DA.

It's unclear how much waste ended up in the creek, as some of the city's wastewater treatment process may have filtered out some of the chemicals, according to the DEP.

Control Electropolishing Corp. offers metal cleaning services to various industries, including polishing surgical and dental instruments, and cleaning boating and fishing accessories.

It was fined $110,000 for its crimes, which is payable to the city's DEP, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the Brooklyn District Attorney's office.

The company declined to comment. 

Newtown Creek was designated a Superfund site in 2010, after it accumulated years worth of oil spills and toxic dumping.

Though efforts are being made to clean it, the threat of further pollution still exists.

"This case should make clear that we take environmental crimes in Brooklyn seriously and will vigorously prosecute any company that dumps environmental toxins into our waterways," District Attorney Kenneth Thompson said in a statement.