Peter Kohler, Executive Vice President for Editorial Services at Cablevision, got it absolutely right in his most recent editorial as to what should be done about The Bay Park Sewage Treatment Plant, which was crippled by Hurricane Sandy.
Until we rebuild the plant, and as Kohler says, Do It Right, it will continue to be by far the major source of nitrogenous pollution in The Western Bays. Even when the plant was ‘operational’ 85% of it was coming from Bay Park. Merely getting the plant back to where it was is unacceptable. While there is funding to rebuild the plant itself — and they can’t start soon enough — additional federal funds are needed to modernize the facility and build an outfall pipe that would have treated waste water flow miles out into the ocean. Long Beach would also benefit because it could use the Bay Park Sewage Treatment Plant as well. Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano has called for $500 million from the federal government to modernize the facility. Let us hope that Congress will not turn its back on Long Island.
As it stands now, ‘semi-treated’ sewage i.e. heavily chlorinated waste water into Reynolds Channel, killing everything in its path and decimating the Western Bays. Further, what’s left of the plant is hardly functioning. THREE MILLION GALLONS of untreated sewage dumped into the Channel on May 13th after a power outage. We are destroying vast areas of essential habitat in The Western Bays. Each and every day we further poison our waters. This is a slow motion ecological disaster. People need to know, and it can and must be stopped.
We applaud Peter Kohler’s efforts to shed light on this crucial environmental issue.