For Release: Tuesday, May 1, 2012
United Water Pays Penalty for Pesticide Violations
Company Improperly Applied Copper Sulfate at Lake DeForest Reservoir
United Water New York agreed to a civil penalty of $40,000 for improperly applying pesticides to the Lake DeForest Reservoir under the terms of a consent order with the state Department of Environmental Conservation, the agency announced today. United Water New York owns and operates Lake DeForest Reservoir, supplying drinking water to millions of residents in Rockland County.
The state Environmental Conservation Law regulates how and when chemicals and pesticides may be applied to the waters of the State. DEC's pesticide regulations authorize the application of copper sulfate for the control of algae, subject to certain limitations. United Water failed to follow three critical provisions of the State's Pesticides Law in the use of copper sulfate to effectively treat algae in the reservoir: 1) United Water applied copper sulfate later in the year than allowed by regulation; 2) the applications of copper sulfate were too frequent to be in compliance with the regulation; and 3) the company failed to maintain accurate and complete pesticides records on site.
"DEC is working with United Water to ensure the company stays in compliance with pesticide regulations to protect the health and safety of the public and to safeguard the environment," said Regional Director Willie Janeway.
United Water agreed to pay $23,250 of the penalty with the balance of $16,750 suspended contingent upon compliance with the requirements of the consent order. The consent order also addresses the violations and sets out a series of steps the company will need to take including properly maintaining pesticide records and properly following all pesticide regulations in the future.