Fless 5 Development, CEO Found Guilty in Civil and Criminal Contempt Storm Water Case
N.Y. State Supreme Court orders defendants to pay more than $100,000 in fines
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) commissioner Joe Martens announced that the New York State Supreme Court in Greene County found Fless 5 Development Inc. and its CEO, Shane Klein, guilty of criminal and civil contempt by virtue of their violation of a court-ordered stipulation that required the defendants to comply with storm water permitting requirements.
The court found that the two defendants failed to complete seven site stabilization measures, failed to hire a qualified engineer to conduct site inspections and failed to submit required storm water retention pond evaluation plans by the deadlines agreed to in the court-ordered stipulation. The storm water permitting violations occurred in the town of Hunter, Greene County.
"We are pleased the court affirmed the need to act responsibly when dealing with storm water runoff and erosion controls," Martens said. "Corporations and individuals must not defy the law and cut corners in protecting the state's water quality. Violators like these whose actions degrade our state's environment must be held accountable. Thanks to the collaborative effort between DEC, New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the attorney general's office, we were able to address this long-standing environmental offense."
The court ordered Fless 5 Development to pay $75,000 for failure to complete several storm water practices that would stabilize construction at the site. The lack of erosion and sediment controls at the site resulted in substantial water quality violations that impacted several bodies of water, including the Schoharie Creek. Prior to resorting to court-enforced remedies, DEP worked with the defendants to implement appropriate storm water measures for nearly three years.
Klein was ordered to pay $50,000 for the civil contempt charge because he signed the court-ordered stipulation that the court found was violated and therefore Klein was held personally liable for his acts. Both Klein and Fless 5 Development were also ordered to pay an additional $10,000 criminal contempt fine for failure to comply with the court-ordered stipulation.
The case is the result of a cooperative agreement between DEC and DEP to conduct storm water enforcement in the New York City watershed. The violations date back to 2006 and have been ongoing since that time.
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