2002-06-15 / Front Page

Jamaica Bay Polluter Arrested By Park Police

Jamaica Bay Polluter Arrested By Park Police

The foreman of a bridge repair project at the Mill Basin Bridge has been arrested by United States Park Police for "environmental contamination" of Jamaica Bay.

The National Park Service (NPS) administers the major portion of the lands and water within Jamaica Bay as a site within the National Park system.

According to Carole Silano, an NPS spokesperson, the park police made the arrest after receiving information that significant amounts of lead paint were being dropped into the waters of the bay from the construction project on the bridge, which spans the bay as part of the Belt Parkway.

After receiving the report, Sergeant Arthur, Detective Ramos, Officer Closs and technician Piccolo investigated, utilizing a Park Police boat. They observed a construction crew working on the bride while sparks, chips of metal, paint and large amounts of cinders and ash fell into the water.

When the park service boat moved closer to the boat, molten metal and ash fell directly into the boat, according to the report.

Reza Raheri, the engineer in charge of the bridge project, was put under arrest for numerous violations of federal law.

He was also cited by the state’s Department of Environmental Conservation for violations of state law.

"The National Park Service is particularly concerned about environmental impacts to Jamaica Bay," Marc Koenings, the General Superintendent of Gateway National Park, said. "We are especially concerned about those that lead to the pollution of the bay waters, because of the eventual effect on the people who live around the bay, the wetlands within the bay, fishing and bird habitat."

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