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OpinionEditorial

Nassau legislature should give OK to Long Beach sewer plan

This is the shoreline of critical infrastructure in

This is the shoreline of critical infrastructure in front of the water treatment plant in Long Beach on Oct. 20, 2018. Credit: Newsday/J. Conrad Williams Jr.

Nassau County Republicans have a well-earned reputation for, shall we say, inconsistency on environmental issues. But sometimes all you can say is yes.

Such is the case with a proposal to send sewage from Long Beach to the county’s Bay Park treatment plant. It makes sense both economically and environmentally, and the bonding to enable it should be approved when it comes before the full legislature Monday.

Long Beach’s sewage treatment plant is not meeting the conditions of its state permit regarding acceptable limits of contaminants in its effluent. Bay Park is. Repairing and upgrading the Long Beach plant would cost more than $175 million. Converting the plant into a pump station and sending the waste to Bay Park via a 3-mile connection pipe would cost about $77 million, a huge savings. Both plants were battered by superstorm Sandy; Bay Park since has been significantly upgraded and fortified.

This is the big step in stopping the degradation of the western bays ecosystem. Nassau and state officials are working on a wise plan to connect Bay Park — which like the Long Beach plant, currently dumps into Reynolds Channel — to the outfall pipe at the Cedar Creek treatment facility in Wantagh. That would allow treated effluent from Bay Park and Long Beach to be dumped three miles out into the ocean.

Removing all that nitrogen and ammonia from the western bays would bring back marine life and wetlands, which would help protect the South Shore from storms and boost the local economy.

All the Nassau legislature has to do is say yes.  — The editorial board

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