The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation is aggressively investigating and supporting prosecution of illegal dumping on Long Island to protect unsuspecting victims [“Illegal dumping: Albany must act,” Editorial, Oct. 1].
DEC has taken unprecedented action to crack down on illegal dumping, and at Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s direction, brought several “dirt brokers” to justice, including the recent sentencing of Anthony Grazio. Grazio was charged after DEC’s Operation TrashNet, which found more than 100 illegal dump sites, including 44 in Suffolk County, and resulted in enforcement against 40 trucking companies.
Newsday’s editorial recognizes some of these efforts, but not DEC’s ongoing work to prevent illegal dumping. DEC has improved tracking for materials generated in New York City, requires analysis of all fill leaving construction and demolition debris-processing facilities, and mandates registration for debris transportation.
The editorial also took an unjustified shot at DEC’s permitting and oversight of legal sand mines. Following rigorous reviews of mining proposals, DEC includes stringent requirements to protect the environment — especially Long Island’s aquifer — and provides strict oversight of operations.
Our efforts are not waning. We continue to hold bad actors accountable and oversee other regulated operations to protect public health and the environment.
Editor’s note: The writer is commissioner of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.
Wellness room is a waste of money
I read about how Ward Melville High School has created a room where teachers and staff members can de-stress with soft lighting, relaxing music, lounge chairs, an oils diffuser, foot massager and calming water device [“The room to ‘WellVille,’” News, Sept. 30].
You’ve got to be kidding me. The Three Village school district is OK with allocating funds to this worthless cause? District parents should be outraged that funds were carelessly spent in this fashion, even if the money came from a variety of sources, including grants.
Further, Newsday gave a full page to this lunacy; shame on you, but at least the paper exposed this fiscally poor decision.
Michael C. Lefkowitz,