There's no one in New York City who would try to convince you that the Newtown Creek is anything close to a clean waterway. Hell, there might be some people who look at the chemical composition of the creek and argue that it's not even technically water. It turns out the creek could be even grosser than we thought, though, thanks to a newly-planned lawsuit against the Department of Environmental Protection, in which the plaintiffs allege the agency falsified water quality reports.
DNAinfo reports that almost a dozen current and former DEP employees sent a letter informing the city that they plan to sue the agency, Mayor de Blasio and recently retired commissioner Emily Lloyd over allegations that they were instructed to falsify water quality reports to bring them in line with Clean Water Act standards. Specifically, the plaintiffs accused William Kelly, the chief of the DEP's Newtown Creek Lab, of ordering employees to go through testing logbooks, flag any water test samples that violated federal guidelines and then change them so they would pass. A photo of the allegedly tampered-with logbook can be found on ProgressQueens. In addition to the data falsifying, the lawsuit alleges that employees who complained about the practice were fired.
An attorney for the plaintiff also claimed that they can also prove that the DEP engaged in other water quality cover ups, including misleading figures about brown drinking water incidents, and lead testing from the city's Health and Hospitals Corporation. A spokesperson for the city dismissed the letter and the lawsuit threat at meritless, but stopped short of making any wild claims about the Newtown Creek being anything close to clean.