CLF, Wychmere Resort Propose Lawsuit Settlement

Resort sued for polluting Wychmere Harbor

Wychmere Harbor. Photo via Shutterstock

May 28, 2020 (BOSTON, MA) – Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) and Wychmere Resort have reached a proposed settlement in a lawsuit regarding nitrogen water pollution from the resort impacting Wychmere Harbor. The settlement would result in reduced pollution and new efforts to address nitrogen sources and protect the Wychmere Harbor watershed. The settlement still requires court approval.

“Nitrogen pollution is wreaking havoc on the Cape’s bays, beaches, and economy,” said Christopher Kilian, Vice President of Strategic Litigation at CLF. “These waters belong to all of us, and large sources must do their part to protect these precious resources. This proposed settlement will lead to a cleaner Wychmere Harbor and we’re happy to be working together with the resort to reach that goal.”

Excess nitrogen results in algae outbreaks in the water which can lead to habitat destruction, fish kills, and beach closures. A recent report by the Association to Preserve Cape Cod found that two-thirds of Cape Cod bays and one-third of ponds are suffering from nutrient pollution.

“We look forward to implementing projects that will address nitrogen problems in Wychmere Harbor as a result of this settlement,” said Andrew Gottlieb, Executive Director of the Association to Preserve Cape Cod. “Wychmere Harbor is an example of the all-too-common problem afflicting the Cape’s estuaries.”

The settlement proposal was spurred by a recent Supreme Court decision regarding the Clean Water Act. Under the terms of the proposal, Wychmere will upgrade its wastewater treatment system to reduce the amount of nitrogen in the resort’s wastewater. The resort will also monitor and report on its progress reducing pollution for the next five years. Finally, Wychmere will contribute financially towards environmental projects implemented by the Association to Preserve Cape Cod that promote the reduction of nitrogen pollution in and around Wychmere Harbor.

CLF experts are available for further comment.