Excessive nitrogen pollution from sewage has caused massive fish kills, turtle die-offs, and beach closures around Long Island. Water contamination and toxic algal blooms caused by this nitrogen pollution threaten our environment, health, economy, and quality of life. Long Island's waters create jobs and generate hundreds of millions of dollars every year for our regional economy. We need to take immediate action to reduce nitrogen pollution from sewage.
Nitrogen pollution is directly tied to development patterns, land use trends, failing sewers, residential cesspools, and septic systems. In short, the majority of nitrogen is from sewage. Scientists agree that harmful toxic tides are being fueled by nitrogen from wastewater, including septic tanks and cesspools.
Symptoms of nitrogen pollution attributed to sewage and polluted runoff are appearing in virtually every bay and harbor around Long Island. When our bays, harbors, and coastal waters receive more nitrogen than healthy ecosystems can process, the result is harmful algal blooms. Some toxic algal blooms on Long Island constitute a serious threat to human health.
In June of 2016, the NYS DEC released its scoping document for the Long Island Nitrogen Action Plan (LINAP), which will serve as a guiding document for drafting a comprehensive LINAP. This is a great step forward!
However, the longer we wait to implement these projects, the more expensive and difficult it will be to fix our water quality problems. The LINAP needs to be finalized and implemented as quickly as possible to fix our nitrogen pollution problem. We are calling upon the DEC to release the Draft LINAP by the spring of 2017 to ensure meaningful public input and rapid implementation, and also to identify opportunities for addressing other threats to water quality, such as VOCs (volatile organic compounds), PAHs (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons), and pesticides. The LINAP should identify funding sources for implementation, which is critical to the success of the plan.
Email the Commissioner of the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation through the Commissioner's online form today! Just copy and paste the message below, or feel free to provide your own message.
Sample message to copy and paste:
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I am grateful that the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has recognized the serious threat that nitrogen from sewage poses on Long Island and has undertaken the task of creating a Long Island Nitrogen Action Plan (LINAP). This is a great step forward! I am writing to urge the DEC to release the Draft LINAP by spring of 2017 and also to identify opportunities for the plan to address other threats to water quality, such as VOCs (volatile organic chemicals), PAHs (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons), and pesticides. The plan also needs to identify long-term funding for ensuring the success of its implementation. Finally, the planning process must include robust public participation opportunities.
Thank you again for your leadership on this issue, and I look forward to participating as this process moves forward.
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Thank you for taking action. Together we make a difference!
All of Us at CCE