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Complaints in Brewster Lead to DEC Charges

Officials say that private contractors were not following proper protocol when it came to the recent shifting of rocks in river waters.

Editor's note: The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation provided the following information. It does not indicate any convictions.

Several complaints, including a number voiced by area fishermen, reportedly led to the recent investigation of private contractors shifting rocks in the waters near the Borden Bridge in Brewster. 

The alleged misconduct led to two misdemeanor arrests last week, according to authorities. The goal of the work is to prevent flooding on the owner's Route 22 property during future storms. The contractors, who were still working Monday, moved several rocks from the center of the water to the shore, where they piled them in front of a large stone wall they erected. 

Several fishermen told Brewster Police Chief John Del Gardo that the work occurring in the water—located between Peaceable Hill Road and Route 22, visible from the Borden Bridge on Main Street—was negatively impacting the immediate area.

That water is part of the East Branch Croton River. Fishermen often head to Brewster in hopes of catching trout.

Del Gardo himself had also observed the workers moving the rocks from one part of the water to another, he told Patch. He contacted the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. Officer James R. Davey came to investigate.

Davey found that although the owner possessed a valid work permit, the way workers were moving the rocks—by machine—was not acceptable under DEC standards. He charged both the owner of the property, a 70-year-old Mahopac man, and the operator of the machine, a 45-year-old Katonah man, with one count of polluting waters in contravention of standards, misdemeanors. 

The men were released, pending appearances in Brewster Justice Court next week. 

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