Long Island's water quality ./ water pollution issues hardly end with nitrogen from cesspools and fertilizer. Industrial pollutants -- pharmaceuticals, flame retardants -- PFOS and PFOA -- 1,4 Dioxane, and pesticides are widespread and very expensive to remove.
"The Foggiest Idea" looks at what progress we have made lowering nitrogen levels in our waters. The problem is only a tiny fraction of the 500,000 cesspools have been replaced so far. On Jan 22nd, there will be a referendum on sewering in Great River, Babylon, and Mastic. That will take a good bite out of the problem since these areas are in key watersheds -- The Carll's, Connetquot, and The Forge.
Save The Great South Bay is establishing a newsroom, a team of citizen-journalists and guest posters who will cover all the issues we …
Our friends at Peconic Baykeeper are asking the government to start by tackling the biggest and dirtiest septic systems on Long Island. As it stands, Peconic Baykeeper has filed suit against the NYSDEC for failing to include nitrogen limits in permits as required by the Clean Water Act. When presented with Peconic Baykeeper's 200-page petition in September, the NYSDEC came back six months later with a half-page note asking for more information on the 1,338 sites. Given the scale of the problem, we need a much greater sense of urgency if we are to save Long Island.
With over 500,000 septic tanks on Long Island, we have a monumental water quality problem on our hands. With a further 180 local small scale sewage treatment plants on Long Island, the problem gets worse. With antiquated large scale treatment facilities further polluting our bays, chief among them The Bay Park Sewage Treatment Plant, crippled by Sandy and spewing millions upon millions of gallons of semi-treated sewage into the Western Bays, we have a disaster of monumental proportions on our hands, yet the issue is vastly under reported, and both the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the EPA are failing to address the issue, refusing, it seems, to enforce the laws already on the books, specifically The Clean Water Act.