Clammers sue New York City over Superstorm Sandy sewage pollution

Jan. 27, 2014

NEW YORK — The city allowed billions of gallons of raw sewage to flow into the Hudson River and New York Harbor after the storm.

NEW YORK — The Baymen's Protective Association, which represents 76 clammers, has filed a lawsuit against the city of New York in Manhattan Supreme Court, regarding the raw sewage the city allowed to flow into the Hudson River and New York Harbor after Superstorm Sandy, according to an article by the New York Daily News.

The million-dollar suit blames the city for putting the clammers out of work for weeks after billions of gallons of raw sewage spilled into the river and harbor, tainting the shellfish there, the article noted.

"We were out of work from essentially Halloween until two days before Christmas,” said Keith Craffey, 48, a lifelong clammer who heads the Baymen’s Protective Association, which fishes in the Raritan and Sandy Hook bays in New Jersey. “The two weeks before Christmas are our busiest time, and to be unable to sell clams really hurt, I’m not gonna lie. We’re not going overboard here — we just want to make up for our lost revenue.”

With a number of sewage and wastewater treatment plants in New York without power after the storm in October 2012, the sewage was permitted to flow into the only open shellfish harvesting spot in the area, reported the article, causing some fisherman to be out of work until as late as February 2013.

According to the article, the city's Department of Environmental Protection said that 10 of its 14 plants experienced interruptions from the storm.

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