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Wednesday, September 17, 2014
Study: South Shore bays are polluted
(Page 4 of 4)
Julie Mansmann/Herald
Dr. Larry Swanson, of Stony Brook University, said that high levels of nitrogen in the South Shore’s bays could be fueling the growth of potentially devastating algae, which robs saltwater of oxygen when it rots, killing marine life.
But Denenberg added that South Shore waterways couldn’t wait 15 years to have heightened protection. That’s why, he said, the county should complete projects at treatment plants that were funded years ago. The county has allocated $700 million for sewage treatment plant infrastructure improvements since 2007, Denenberg said, including adding a third treatment level at the Bay Park and Cedar Creek plants, ammonium removal, enhanced odor control and replacement of pumps at Bay Park. But $400 million in the five-year plan remains unused, he said.

Noting that the Bay Park pumps that failed during Hurricane Sandy were supposed to have been replaced two years ago, Denenberg said that the public should urge county lawmakers to use the funds and carry out the plan while the TMDL studies and document preparation continue.

“These studies are only confirming what we know, so why wait?” he said. “I will continue to advocate that these projects that have already been planned and designed and in our capital plans for years be implemented and completed.”

Stony Brook and Battelle plan to submit final reports on their studies to the DEC in April, Holdridge said. She noted that total funds allocated to develop data to support the TMDL document, which will cost $300,000 to prepare, exceed $1.6 million.

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