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Source: News 12 Long Island

LI lawmakers call for delay in NYC plan to tap Nassau aquifer

Posted: February 7, 2018
Originally Published: February 1, 2018


Nassau lawmakers and environmentalists are calling to delay a plan that would allow New York City to pump water from a Nassau aquifer over a concern that it could contaminate Long Island's water.

New York City has requested to re-activate more than 60 water wells just over the Nassau County line in Queens. The city wants a permit from the state to take up to 68 million gallons a day in times of drought or emergency from those wells.

Officials say removing that much water from an aquifer which provides Long Island's only source of drinking water could be problematic. They say it could allow other wells in Nassau to be contaminated with salt water, or have other serious problems.

"Utilizing Long Island's water in times of drought for New York City is literally a plan to rob Peter to pay Paul," says Adrienne Esposito, of the Citizens Campaign for the Environment.

Officials and environmentalists want the state to hold off until the spring when a review of a federal study on Long Island's ground water can be examined.

The state Department of Environmental Conservation says it's reviewing its options.

In a statement to News 12, the DEC said in part that it "remains committed to protecting Long Island's water resources."

Nassau County officials say they would like some assurances that New York City won't take too much water, if their permit is accepted.

"We are also sending a series of recommended permit conditions, as well as a recommendation to the DEC to prepare a long-term water resources management plan for all of Long Island," said County Executive Laura Curran.

Watch the video.