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Long Island water quality proposal looks all but dead, LaValle says

A bill to create a Long Island Water Quality Control Act appears unlikely to gain approval Thursday, the last scheduled day of the 2014 legislative session, a key senator said.

Sen. Kenneth LaValle (R-Port Jefferson) said there was too much opposition — from farmers, business groups and the Cuomo administration — to overcome with just hours left to go. The State Senate and Assembly are expected to work through the night Thursday before adjourning.

“It’s not likely. I’ve been surprised before but with the DEC opposition,” LaValle said, referring to the Department of Environmental Conservation. He said the reasons for the agency’s resistance weren’t immediately clear but that it objected to the bill.

Cuomo, in April, announced his own Long Island water task force, with the goal of coming up with recommendations in June to improve sewer management and protect groundwater. The task force is expected to report by the end of the month.

LaValle and Assemb. Robert Sweeney (D-Lindenhurst), the two sponsors of the water-quality bill, recently amended their proposal to accommodate farm and business concerns. LaValle said he thought not everyone impacted by the bill were aware of the changes.

The Assembly approved the bill a day earlier, 112-24.

“I’m optimistic in the long range,” LaValle said. “If we don’t get the bill, I’ll go back to square one, find out more about DEC’s opposition and talk to more stakeholders.”

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