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Ralliers called on officials to provide more funding for upgrades to the Bay Park Sewage Plant.
They have a ‘pipe dream’
Rally focuses on additional funding for sewage plant
Bill Kelly/Herald
environmentalists and politicians hope to “revive and restore” the area’s sea life — and those whose jobs depend on it.

“Today’s the day to save the bay!” “Nitrogen’s the reason all the fish are leavin’!” “We have a pipe dream.”

These were the chants of environmental leaders and others at a rally outside the county legislative offices in Mineola on Feb. 11, calling on state officials and federal agencies to provide additional funding for improvements to the Bay Park Sewage Treatment Plant.

“We are at the cusp of turning one of the worst sewage treatment plants in our state into a model plant for the region,” said Adrienne Esposito, executive director of Citizens Campaign for the Environment. “Now is the time for action.”

More than $800 million in federal funds have been secured for repairs and upgrades at the plant, but more is needed, according to civic and environmental groups and some elected officials, to pay for extending the plant’s outfall pipe. The extended pipe would discharge treated sewage two to three miles out in the Atlantic instead of in Reynolds Channel.

The East Rockaway plant, built in 1949, treats approximately 50 million gallons of sewage per day. It was out of service for two days after Hurricane Sandy, having been hit with a 9-foot tidal surge, and roughly 100 million gallons of untreated sewage flowed into Hewlett Bay and Reynolds Channel. Another 2.2 billion gallons of partially treated sewage was released during the 44 days it took to fully restore operations, according to scientific researchers at Climate Central.

Last month, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced major funding for the plant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and federal community development block grants. The total that has been allocated to repairing and upgrading the plant, Cuomo said, is now $810 million, but he estimated that extending the outfall pipe would run another $600 million to $700 million.

Cuomo, who issued a statement requesting additional funding for the facility from the federal government, said that there is an opportunity to “significantly improve the water quality and resiliency” of the waterways near the plant by extending the outfall pipe.


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The situation at this Bay Park, as well as Cedar Creek facilities should never have been allowed to happen. The attempts by a few employees back in 2004/5 of serious neglect simply went unheeded or an awful lot of County managers either dropped a very big ball or idiotically disagreed with the assessment. ... WHY ... You really do have to ask that question.

Today, different than the last time (2005), It's not the employees but the New York Department of Labor (PESH) and the State Conservation Department that have both given the County a very big "Things To Do List" ... WHY ... You really do have to ask that question ... and ... DEMAND ... a clear, concise and complete response. You need to get at the root cause of this bad boy or no matter what is done, you'll still eventually wind up with the same shit hitting the fan once again

John Guthrie Yates / Levittown

Thursday, February 20, 2014 | Report this

The community was struck by Sandy but thats not bad enough the sewage plant has been a probem for a very long time now. I visit East Rockaway and Oceanside often and very disappointed to say the least. My family has to smell that odor and inhale whatever is in the air. When everyone of our kids starts getting cancer then what will they do for them? It will be too late. Would you want your kids living in an area with a sewage plant like that? Now's the time to complete the entire project and the state should be funding the rest. We just keep paying and nothing is getting done. Then the politicians want us to vote for them. My question is why should we? Someone is responsible and they should be fired.

Friday, February 21, 2014 | Report this
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