CLF Continues Fight for Clean Water on Cape Cod

Files lawsuits against resorts for dangerous pollution in Wychmere Harbor and Pleasant Bay

Wychmere Harbor. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

August 24, 2018 (BOSTON) – Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) announced today that it has filed federal lawsuits against the Wychmere Beach Club and the Wequassett Resort and Golf Club. The lawsuits claim that the resorts are illegally discharging nitrogen that fuels noxious algae outbreaks in Wychmere Harbor and Pleasant Bay, popular destinations for fishing, boating and birding.

“Nitrogen pollution is killing the Cape’s beautiful waterways,” said Christopher Kilian, Vice President of Strategic Litigation at CLF. “Fish kills, unpleasant odors and scum are becoming the norm, threatening to drive away the millions of tourists that flock to the area every year. These resorts should be leaders in protecting our precious waters, instead of flushing our health and our economy down the drain.”

The Wychmere Beach Club and the Wequassett Resort and Golf Club can discharge 45,000 and 80,000 gallons of sewage per day, respectively, into leaching fields designed to allow nitrogen and other pollutants to seep into the soil and groundwater. The polluted groundwater then flows directly into the nearby bay and harbor, endangering plant and animal life as well as the health of people enjoying the waters.

CLF’s lawsuits assert that the discharges into Pleasant Bay and Wychmere Harbor require federal Clean Water Act permits, and the Clean Water Act’s citizen suit provision allows private individuals and organizations to sue violators in federal court.

CLF experts are available for further comment.