NYS DEC Settles Montauk Shoreline Construction Case

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Landowner and Contractor Ordered to Pay Fines and Reconstruct Shoreline.

Montauk, NY - March 4th, 2014 - Following a thorough investigation into the construction of an oversized revetment (sea wall) on the Montauk shoreline, the property owner and construction company involved will remove unauthorized stonework, reconstruct the affected shoreline and pay a civil penalty of $120,000 under an agreement with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), DEC Regional Director Peter A. Scully announced today.

“Across Long Island, DEC is working hard to assist property owners with efforts to restore properties impacted by Hurricane Sandy to pre-storm conditions,” Scully said. “Generally, recovery work has been complied with permit conditions and applicable regulations. However, those that flout state regulations or violate permit conditions will be held accountable.”

Montauk Shores Condominiums had a revetment in place along the shoreline for more than a decade. On several occasions since 2002, representatives of Montauk Shores proposed constructing a significantly larger revetment, built with stones weighing more than 150 pounds. Because the size of the stones exceeded what was allowed by the permit for the site, DEC did not approve these proposals.

In March 2013, after rejecting a proposal by Montauk Shores to build a larger structure using 300-pound to 500-pound stones, DEC issued a permit authorizing reconstruction of the existing revetment to be no more than six-feet high and 12-feet wide, with stones no larger than 150 pounds.

Subsequent to issuing this permit, DEC received numerous complaints from citizens in the Montauk area about the revetment project. Staff investigated and found the revetment to be 12-feet high and 24-feet wide, twice the size authorized under the permit, and consisting of stones weighing as much as 1,000 pounds. Based on these findings, DEC cited violations of both Tidal Wetlands and Coastal Erosion Hazard Act regulations.

DEC continuously works to protect natural shoreline resources and minimize potential damage to vulnerable structures. The elevations of the revetment as contained in the permit are sufficient to both protect upland property and minimize shoreline erosion.

Montauk Shores Condominiums and its contractor, Keith Grimes, agreed to a Consent Order with DEC that includes a total penalty of $120,000, with $40,000 payable and $80,000 suspended pending compliance. In addition, the respondents must remove rock along approximately 900 feet of shoreline to reduce the elevation and comply with their permit. Finally, Montauk Shores Condominium must hire an engineering firm to produce a stormwater management plan.

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