EPA funding is key to LI’s water quality

After reading “Budget boosts defense” [News, March 17], I suspect that many Long Islanders felt the need for a walk along the beach to escape from the goings-on in Washington.

Yet President Donald Trump’s proposed 31 percent cut in the Environmental Protection Agency budget could have tangible effects on that beach.

Through the Long Island Sound Restoration and Stewardship Act, the EPA has funded citizen groups working on ways to address water quality and to reduce pollution. It also has aided municipalities with water quality and waste water treatment facilities.

Sen. Chuck Schumer is part of a bipartisan effort to defend this act, pointing out that, rather than being what budget director Mick Mulvaney calls “a waste of money,” it brings in at least $17 million a year by helping local industries.

Our surrounding waters sustain us, physically and spiritually, and it is time for us to sustain them. We need to let our legislators know that we want them to defend the EPA from this and other drastic cuts in its budget.

Peter Gollon, Huntington

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Editor’s note: The writer is on the board of the Long Island Power Authority.

Sen. Croci’s service protected freedom

I was very disappointed to read Newsday’s coverage of State Sen. Thomas Croci’s last military deployment to Afghanistan [“Twist in Croci’s path to war zone,” News, March 12].

Croci honorably served our country, and Newsday chose to put a negative spin on his service. Regardless of why or when he went overseas, the fact is he went to a war zone to fulfill an obligation consistent with his commission as an officer in the Naval Reserve. Keep in mind that he was there, in part, to protect the very freedom that gives Newsday the right to print that story.

Jack Pizzillo, West Sayville

How to reduce LI’s garbage output

Regarding “30 years later: Garbage barge’s legacy on LI” [News, March 23], Long Islanders produce about 7 pounds of solid waste per person daily, which is almost double the national average. I have some ideas of what to do with this trash in the future.

Towns could issue same-size garbage cans to each homeowner, with a computer bar code on each attached lid. These lids would be scanned by the garbage collectors. If a home needed an additional can, an extra garbage tax would be applied. Homes would be allowed more cans according to the number of residents.

The towns could also issue larger cans with bar codes for recycling. That would give homeowners a financial stake to separate our garbage. When it comes to money, we Long Islanders are very good at saving it.

Albert J. Prisco, East Northport

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Enforce laws to halt ‘iron pipeline’

Referring to the March 9 news story “B’klyn gun bust billed as biggest ever,” the solution to the so-called iron pipeline is to enforce the laws we already have, which primarily come from the federal government.

Federal law limits the sale of handguns to state residents who can produce government-issued identification. While rifle sales are slightly more relaxed, they are typically limited to state residents and residents of immediately neighboring states.

Based on New York transfer laws, an out-of-state firearms dealer would not be allowed to sell a rifle directly to a New York resident. Even a legitimate in-state purchaser must sign a federal form. The data are verified via an instant federal background check. Lying on the form is a felony.

The so-called private sale loophole also leaves a paper trail that returns to the original purchaser.

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In the news story, a gang member brags on a wiretap that he could get 20 guns a day. The claim is curious. Federally licensed firearms dealers are required to fill out and immediately submit forms reporting to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives anyone purchasing more than one gun in a day.

The most bizarre claim was the sale of Tommy guns. These submachine guns cannot be acquired without strict federal oversight at every step.

Vincent Cristiano, Ronkonkoma

Editor’s note: The author is a member of the Nation Rifle Association and the administrator of the NYS Concealed Carry Advocacy Group.