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Hearings to be held on plan to prevent pesticide groundwater pollution

Three hearings will be held the first week of April to discuss a state plan to prevent pesticide pollution in groundwater.

The state Department of Environmental Conservation released a draft Long Island Pesticide Pollution Prevention Strategy on Jan. 30.

Its intent is to address pesticide pollution in the water while not harming the ability of farmers, agricultural operators and landowners to manage pests.

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Thirty percent of all dry pesticides and 14 percent of all wet pesticides used in the state are applied on Long Island, according to the plan.

The DEC is hosting two hearings and state Assemb. Robert Sweeney (D-Lindenhurst) is hosting the third.

The Sweeney hearing will be at 10 a.m. April 2 in the Little Theater in Roosevelt Hall at Farmingdale State College, 2350 Broadhollow Rd. Anyone wanting to submit testimony should contact Andrew Matott at 518-455-4363 or matotta@assembly.state.ny.us. A 10-minute time limit will be in place.

The first DEC hearing will be April 3 at Suffolk County Community College, Eastern Campus, 121 Speonk-Riverhead Rd. in Riverhead. The second will be April 4 at Morrelly Homeland Security Center, 510 Grumman Road West in Bethpage.

On both nights, officials will be available for questions from 6 to 7 p.m. and the hearings will run from 7 to 9 p.m.

The comment period to the DEC runs through April 30. The plan can be found at www.dec.ny.gov. Comments can be emailed to LongIslandStrategy@gw.dec.state.ny.us, faxed to 518-402-9024, or mailed to Scott Menrath, NYS DEC, Division of Materials Management, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233-7254.

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