June 2, 2009, Kingston Daily Freeman: Riverkeeper threatens Speedway suit

link to complete article is here: http://www.dailyfreeman.com/articles/2009/06/02/news/doc4a24a7f7099b1052711218.txt

ACCORD — The environmental group Riverkeeper has put Accord Speedway on notice it intends to sue the racetrack for “continuously polluting a nearby stream and connected wetlands” with pesticides, anti-freeze, oil, grease and other petroleum products.

The pending lawsuit, announced on Riverkeeper’s Web site, contends Accord Speedway has used discreet locations to dump waste products into an area that includes a nearby trout stream.

“These illegal discharges are directly entering the North Peter’s Kill from several discrete points along the track’s ‘pit road,’” the environmental group said. “Riverkeeper has documented the Speedway collecting polluted track runoff from a low point in the track’s infield and pumping it into a field on the southern portion of the property, adjoining a wetland area that connects to the North Peter’s Kill.”

The North Peter’s Kill feeds the Rondout Creek, which flows into the Hudson River.

Riverkeeper also alleges Accord Speedway is operating an open dump in violation of a federal Clean Water Act and Resource Conservation and Recovery Act ban on open dumping.

“In this instance the Speedway’s collection, pumping, and dumping of runoff from the track constitutes ‘liquid waste’ that is being discarded in violation of waste disposal requirements,” said Joshua Verleun, a Riverkeeper investigator and attorney.

“Any facility that accepts or dumps waste without following these requirements is considered to be an open dump,” he said. “It is unacceptable that there are no systems in place to prevent turbidity, oil, gas, and other chemicals from running directly into the North Peter’s Kill and connected wetlands.”

Officials with Accord Speedway were not immediately available for comment Monday.

Riverkeeper said it served the notice on May 19 and is required to wait 60 days before filing a case in federal court.

“New York State is given the opportunity to step in and file their own enforcement case and the polluter is given an opportunity to halt all violations,” the group said on its Web site. “Following the waiting period, Riverkeeper will file a case in federal court if violations persist and the state has not enforced against the Speedway.”

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