Spin Cycle

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Nassau Democrats rap GOP for not acting on Sandy reforms

Nassau Democrats Monday complained that County Executive Edward Mangano and the Republican majority on the Nassau legislature have failed “to enact any meaningful reform” after superstorm Sandy.

“We are no better prepared to tackle a big storm today than we were last October,” said Legis. David Denenberg (D-Merrick) in a news release.

He and Minority Leader Kevan Abrahams (D-Freeport) noted the Republican majority never called legislation Denenberg introduced last April to require all county residents be notified within four hours of sewage spills or sewage treatment plant violations. Instead, the county adopted a voluntary notification system. But they contend residents weren’t warned when the Bay Park Sewage Treatment Plant failed during Sandy, resulting in sewage backing up into residents’ homes. In addition, they said, Presiding Officer Norma Gonsalves (R-East Meadow) has “repeatedly dodged” requests to hold a hearing on the Bay Park plant.

Republicans also have not called a Denenberg bill to require gas stations to have an “alternative-energy sources” to pump gasoline when the power goes out, they said. And Republicans have not called another bill Democrats proposed in December to prevent environmental damage from another storm surge by requiring fuel oil tanks to be secured against flotation, buoyancy and lateral movements. Hundreds of tanks were knocked over during the Sandy storm surge.

“The lack of leadership and the willingness to make meaningful reforms by Mangano and the Republicans has failed to make our county safer from future storms,” Abrahams said in the release.

Mangano press secretary Katie Grilli-Robles responded that all the bills “sit in the Legislature -- a separate independent body of government.” She said questions should be directed to Gonsalves, who was in a redistricting hearing Monday and did not immediately return a request for comment.

Grilli-Robles added that the county already provides environmental notifications “and residents can sign up on the web to receive these.”

The Nassau Industrial Development Agency is providing economic incentives to gas stations to install generators, she added. “The towns are the entity to mandate such requirements.”

Recently, Gonsalves aide Frank Moroney said Republican lawmakers were waiting to see what the state would do in regard to requiring gas stations to have generators before considering county legislation.
 

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