Press Release: Save the Sound, Village of Mamaroneck Reach New Agreement in Longstanding Clean Water Act Case

After commitments made in a 2017 Consent Order went unfulfilled by established deadlines, Save the Sound and the Village of Mamaroneck have reached a new amended agreement in a suit involving violations of the Clean Water Act that dates back to 2015.  

Through years of remediation work, the Village has already completed $6.5 million worth of repairs to its sanitary sewer system. These fixes primarily address inflow and infiltration (“I and I”) problems that occur when groundwater and stormwater enter cracked, broken, and faulty pipes, mix with wastewater, and cause discharges of untreated or partially treated sewage into Long Island Sound and the rivers and streams that feed it. The Village Board of Trustees recently authorized up to $3.5 million be spent to repair similar defects in other areas of the Village. 

The new agreement requires, among other things, that the Village: 

  • Confirm repairs to identified pipe segments and other defects are completed, and all illicit connections (which could include unintended hookups from sump pumps from local residences or businesses) have been resolved by Dec. 31, 2024. 
  • Remove all identified sources of I and I, enabling its sewer system to comply with the County Sewer Act, by Dec. 31, 2024. 
  • Begin to perform flow monitoring in determined areas no later than May 1, 2024, and begin in other areas between March 1 and May 1, 2025. 

In all, this will have resulted in the study and rehabilitation of more than 23 miles of sewer pipe. Additionally, the Village will make an Environmental Benefit Payment of $350,000 to the Westchester County Soil and Water Conservation for projects to be determined that will reduce, mitigate, and remediate pollution in the Sound and its tributaries in or near Mamaroneck.  

“These repairs, along with repairs that other towns are making, will make water in Long Island Sound and in our communities cleaner and healthier,” said Roger Reynolds, senior legal director for Save the Sound. “In 2024, more than 50 years after the passage of the Clean Water Act, we should no longer have raw and partially treated sewage being discharged to our waters where we swim and fish.” 

Raw sewage overflows were at the heart of Save the Sound’s original case against Westchester County and 11 municipalities. The Village of Mamaroneck was among the first to reach a settlement, along with the Village of Port Chester and the City of White Plains. Subsequent settlements have been reached with the remaining municipalities: the City of Rye, Town/Village of Harrison, Village of Rye Brook, Village of Scarsdale, City of New Rochelle, Town of Mamaroneck, Village of Larchmont, and Village of Pelham Manor. The case against Westchester County remains open, and negotiations are ongoing.  

The amended settlement documents were filed with the court and submitted to the Department of Justice and Environmental Protection Agency for review on Feb. 27. The agreement may be formally entered by the court after the 45-day agency review period.  

Pollution from sanitary sewer pipes carrying wastewater from homes and businesses to treatment facilities has long been a problem in Westchester County. The wastewater infrastructure has deteriorated over the decades, making it vulnerable to stormwater infiltrating the pipes and overwhelming the system during rain events, which have grown more frequent and severe due to climate change. Consequences of sewage pollution can include periodic closures of beaches and shellfish beds, depletion of certain fish stocks, fish consumption advisories, and restrictions on certain recreational activities. 

Thanks to the VOM settlements, over 23 miles of sewer pipes will have been studied and rehabilitated. As a result of all the settlements with all of the towns to date, over 665 miles of sewer pipes have been or will be repaired and more than 64,000 defects have been or will be fixed across the 11 municipalities.  

Save the Sound was represented by Super Law Group in this matter. Save the Sound will continue to monitor and enforce the progress of the repairs and safeguard water quality in Westchester County and across the entire Long Island Sound region. 

Get Involved
Jump in

Join the fight! Memberships start at just $25 – support that’s badly needed now for a healthy, sustainable environment over the long term.

Join now

Take part

Saturday, April 27, at East Rock Park in New Haven
Celebrate Earth Day, cycle or hike with the New Haven community, fundraise for environmental organizations, and enjoy food, music, and more at the Green Fair on April 27. Join our cycling team to support a healthy, clean, and thriving Long Island Sound region.

See more

Connect with us

Stay in touch by joining our activist network email list. We'll keep you up-to-date with current initiatives, ways you can take action and volunteer opportunities.

Sign up