Mar 30, 2021

Legoland New York to Pay a $346,000 Fine for Environmental Violations

Legoland New York must pay a $346,000 state fine for 36 environmental violations under an agreement.


Legoland New York must pay a $346,000 state fine for three dozen environmental violations under an agreement.

The theme park is preparing to open within weeks, according to The Times Herald-Record.

The fine was the third and largest the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has imposed during the past three years of construction.

DEC has repeatedly cited Legoland for letting muddy storm water wash from the construction area into the nearby Otterkill Creek during heavy rains, reported The Times Herald-Record. A third consent order between the two parties was finalized three days after Legoland's latest violation notice, which reported that an environmental conservation officer found the stream running muddy again on Mar. 18.

In a statement, Kelly Turturro, director of the DEC's regional office in New Paltz, stated that her department was "committed to holding Legoland accountable for violations of state environmental laws and regulations," and that the latest consent order was part of its "active and ongoing efforts to monitor the construction project and enforce compliance," reported The Times Herald-Record.

Legoland spokesman Matt Besterman said in a statement that the company signed the order to resolve the storm water control concerns, added The Times Herald-Record.

Under the agreement, Legoland also must contribute at least $50,000 for an unspecified environmental benefit project for the area. The agreement also states Legoland must allow a third-party monitor to inspect the site each day until construction is done and no more than 15 acres of soil may be disturbed at any time during that period.

Since the previous consent order nearly two years ago, DEC has cited Legoland 36 times, reported The Times Herald-Record. These citations list issues with water turbidity, insufficient erosion control and petroleum bulk storage conditions, according to the DEC, bringing the total number of environmental violations to 63 since construction began in 2018.

The violations cited in the most recent consent order include ones involving two oil spills that the DEC said occurred in 2018 when workers removed seven underground storage tanks buried on the property. DEC fined Legoland a combined $265,550 in the first two orders in 2018 and 2019 and the latest order raises the total to $611,550.

The park hasn't announced its opening date yet but could do so as early as Apr. 9, according to The Times Herald-Record. 

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