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Just Sayin’: Water quality council needs resident input

Readers weigh in.

Shallow groundwater monitoring wells on campus at Bethpage

Shallow groundwater monitoring wells on campus at Bethpage High School detected radium at levels more than three times the safe drinking water standard on June 7, 2017. The state plans to take water samples and scan surface soils and grass for radioactive materials. Photo Credit: Newsday / J. Conrad Williams Jr.

Clean water is necessary for life. The past few years have seen water emergencies across New York, most notably in Hoosick Falls, Newburgh and Long Island.

After seeing drinking water contamination across our state, it’s imperative to be proactive in guaranteeing that our drinking water is closely monitored and that contaminants are strictly regulated.

Earlier this year, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo established the New York State Drinking Water Quality Council to determine what courses of action the state should take in protecting this vital resource. The council is responsible for making sure that our communities have access to clean and healthy drinking water while also addressing other major water quality issues, including setting limits on extraordinarily dangerous and currently unregulated contaminants.

This council has been granted an enormous task, and the public must be part of the process to ensure that it is fully completed. New Yorkers must use their voices to urge the New York State Drinking Water Quality Council to put forth the strictest health standards for unregulated water contaminants, to grant our water infrastructure an adequate budget for improvement and safety, and to guarantee that we know what is in our drinking water.

Kevin Dugan, Garden City

Editor’s note: The writer is a researcher for the New York Public Interest Research Group, a nonprofit fact-finding and education organization.

Postal Service needs a focus on customers

The U.S. Postal Service has lost between $2.8 billion and $15 billion every year since 2007.

To add to its revenue, the Postal Service struck deals with large shippers such as Amazon, which resulted in an increase in package deliveries. One problem is that the formula for calculating costs hasn’t been updated since 2006, and the deal stinks for the Postal Service. It’s estimated the service loses $1.46 for each package delivered.

First-class mail volume has declined for many reasons, including rising rates and fewer Postal Service boxes. Also, postmasters schedule early deliveries to businesses and late to residential, assuming that most residential customers are at work. Today many people work from home or operate a home business and prefer early service as well.

In 2006, Congress also required the Postal Service to pre-fund its pension plans, creating deficits.

The only solution is to improve service and end deals that increase volume but decrease revenue. Taxpayers will not subsidize a monopoly that seemingly is mismanaged and operated for certain customers at the expense of the public.

Alan Newman, Bellmore