Brookhaven Residents and Teachers Sue Over Landfill
After years of suffering health impacts and diminished quality of life due to unbearable odors from the Brookhaven Landfill, community members, teachers, and parents have filed a lawsuit against the Town. CCE joined plaintiffs and lawyers at a press conference announcing that 25 plaintiffs filed a Notice of Claim, which means the Town has 90 days to respond before the lawsuits get filed in NYS Supreme Court. This action is an act of last resort because the Town has ignored requests to meet. At Frank P. Long School, 35 out of 105 staff members have been diagnosed with cancer.
Improving Water Quality in Long Island Sound
As summer ends we are gearing up for the 2019 budget and urging our NYS leaders to push for critical funding and legislation to protect Long Island Sound. We attended a public hearing held by NYS Assembly Members Englebright and D'Urso in August focusing on improving water quality in Long Island Sound. CCE pushed our NYS leaders on Long Island Sound to champion priority legislation, including banning 1,4-dioxane in products, allowing Nassau and Suffolk Counties to create reoccurring revenue streams for sewage and septic upgrades, prohibiting offshore drilling, funding water quality monitoring in North Shore embayments, and passing a comprehensive Bring Your Own Bag bill to prevent plastic pollution.
Resisting EPA Attacks on the Environment
August was a busy month in our work to fight back against federal rollbacks to policies that protect public health and the environment. We weighed in against EPA's ill-conceived proposal to repeal the Clean Water Rule, which was established in 2015 to protect the streams and wetlands that support drinking water for 117 million Americans. We also opposed a proposed EPA policy that would restrict the use of sound science when establishing or evaluating policies, which in practice would make it easier for EPA to weaken or repeal regulations thoughtfully crafted to address a variety of key issues from climate change, to pesticides, to protecting children from lead in paint.
Pushing for Better Recycling in CT
Connecticut is the epicenter of the U.S. reverse-vending industry, and CCE and our partners are committed to modernizing the state's bottle bill in 2019! In August, CCE and other members of the Connecticut Recyclers Coalition took a tour of Envipco's headquarters in Naugatuck. We got a firsthand glimpse of the company's state of the art manufacturing facility and an opportunity to check out the newest advancements in container-redemption technology.
Breaking the Plastic Habit at Alive After 5 in Patchogue
CCE joined tens of thousands Long Islanders at Alive After 5 in Patchogue this August for a great night of food, drinks, and live music. We joined our partners in the fight against plastic pollution to educate the public on the threat single-use plastics pose to marine life and urged people go plastic-free with pasta straws, reusable utensils, and reusable bags. Thanks to all of our partners at the event, who came with great games for kids, live animals, and giveaways. Patchogue has already banned plastic bags and polystyrene, but we can all still remember to #skipthestraw and stop using other single-use plastics to protect our lakes and bays!
Creating a Cleaner, Low-Carbon Transportation Future for NY
In Syracuse, we joined the discussion of potential policy approaches and strategies to bring about a cleaner and more resilient transportation future in New York. The NYSDEC, NYSERDA, and NYSDOT held regional stakeholder discussions to encourage conversations about clean transportation. We discussed the need to reduce climate change emissions, expand access to electric vehicles, and curb harmful air pollution from transportation.
Creating an Artificial Reef off the Coast of Hempstead, NY
CCE was pleased to join Governor Andrew Cuomo to witness the creation of an artificial reef in a 744-acre site off the south shore of Long Island. New York State is embarking on the largest artificial reef expansion in state history, expanding a total of 12 artificial reefs, which include two reefs in Long Island Sound, two in the Great South Bay, and eight in the Atlantic Ocean. The reef expansions are made out of recycled structures including rock, concrete, and steel, which settle to the sea floor and create new habitat for larger fish like blackfish, black seabass, cod, and summer flounder, as well as encrusting creatures like barnacles, sponges, anemones, corals, and mussels. We're excited to see how these recycled structures create habitats similar to natural reefs over time.
Suffolk County: Change Out Your Septic System
Over the summer and fall, we are hosting a series of forums highlighting the importance of reducing nitrogen pollution from outdated septic systems and cesspools. We will be helping residents secure grants to change out their old systems for new, on-site, nitrogen-reducing treatment systems through Suffolk County's Reclaim Our Water program. So far, we have held forums for Huntington and Riverhead residents and have received a great response. Our next forum is at Smithtown Library at 7pm on September 24, and we hope to see you there!
Improving Fish Habitat in the Carmans River
We were thrilled to participate in the signing of a Suffolk County resolution that will appropriate $1 million toward the completion of the Carmans River Fish Ladder Project, which will open up the last remaining barrier to fish passage on the Carmans River in Yaphank. As one of Long Island's Wild, Scenic and Recreational Rivers, the Carmans has long been a top destination for anglers. This project will open up approximately six miles of river and lake habitat for alewife, eels, and various trout species.
"The Health and Science of Our Bays: A Fire Island Perspective"
Thanks to everyone who came out to the Village of Saltaire for our "The Health and Science of Our Bays: A Fire Island Perspective" public forum. We were joined by environmental and governmental experts from the United States Geological Survey, Suffolk County Health Department, and The Nature Conservancy to discuss Fire Island's water quality challenges and solutions.