Letters to the Editor: East Rockaway, Lynbrook

Dec. 6-12, 2012


Sewage plant still a major concern

To the Editor:
I live with my mother in Lynbrook, which is not very far from the Bay Park Sewage Treatment Plant in East Rockaway.
My mom, a longtime resident, went to elementary school in East Rockaway and graduated from the high school there in 1947 (with Don Murray, who went on to be a famous actor). Later that year, she moved to Lynbrook with her family, where she has lived ever since. Needless to say, she has been through many hurricanes, but none quite like Sandy.
We recall when the sewage plant was being built in 1949, and we were told it was to become a Coca-Cola plant. But to sweeten the deal, so to speak, when it became a sewage plant instead, I recall that the parks were built as an olive leaf peace offering to residents in the surrounding areas — a place where my grandchildren have played many times.
I doubt I will want to bring them there again for a very, very long time, though, what with 65 millions gallons a day of raw sewage being released from there since Hurricane Sandy due to flood damage — and I intend to keep my family far from that entire area for a long time.
The plant has always been a major concern for those of us who reside along the South Shore, and in the aftermath of Sandy, our worst fears have been realized. Not only is this raw sewage polluting our Hewlett Bay Park and Hewlett Point Beach Club bays, but I’d be shocked if it didn’t make its way into Reynolds Channel by now. It did make it into the streets, and in some cases, people’s homes and the schools, too!
Is this still happening, and if so, why?  This is perhaps the worst environmental health crisis we have ever experienced, and thus far we have received no real answers from County Executive Ed Mangano or Legislator Howard Kopel regarding the status of the situation and when it will improve. Why not? Where’s the leadership on this? 
We must use Sandy as a benchmark for any future plans for this plant.

Pamela Fregeau

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