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Letters: Protect our water from waste facilities

The Long Island Sound.

The Long Island Sound. Credit: Joseph D. Sullivan

Evidence of just how poisoned and polluted Long Island waters have become is a grim and daily reminder of the public costs of slashing agency budgets and ignoring warning signs of overdevelopment [“Better waste rules can protect precious water,” Editorial, March 2].

Fortunately, given the chance, water quality and ecosystems can recover. But it takes time, sustained public interest, and the conviction of elected and agency officials to implement the rules they adopt.

New efforts to reform state solid-waste management rules offer a critical opportunity for positive and meaningful change, but only if they reflect the unique geologic conditions that make our water so vulnerable to contamination.

On Long Island, waste processing facilities must have full and proper containment, on-site water-quality monitoring and bonded requirements for water-quality restoration as part of any permit.

Over time, solid-waste facilities must also be moved out of our most vulnerable drinking-water protection areas, and the state must deploy sufficient and competent staff to assure regular inspection and swift enforcement of violations.

Robert DeLuca, East Marion

Editor’s note: The writer is president of the Group for the East End, an environmental advocacy organization.

 

An indictment charges that six men and four businesses squashed fragile, sensitive wetlands along the west side of Sampawams Creek in Deer Park [“Illegal dumping: Danger remains,” News, Jan. 4]. Newsday reported this event as endangering public health. In this case, public not only refers to human health, but also the health of an ecosystem that once bordered both banks of this long creek.

Tom Stock, Babylon

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