LIMBA Hosted a Panel Discussion on the Quality of Long Island’s Water
A group of panelists, including Carrie Meek Gallagher (third from left), Regional Director, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation; Dorian Dale (third from right), Director of Sustainability & Chief Recovery Officer, Suffolk County; and Dr. John Tanacredi (right), Director, Center for Environmental Research and Coastal Oceans Monitoring, Molloy College, spoke about Long Island’s water quality during the LIMBA (Long Island Metro Business Action) meeting at the Courtyard Marriott in Ronkonkoma on August 25. Also pictured (left to right): Ken Nevor, Member, LIMBA; Ernie Fazio, Chairman, LIMBA; Bill Miller, Treasurer, LIMBA; and Bob Bender, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, The R.B. Bender Group, Inc., the event’s sponsor.
On August 25, LIMBA (Long Island Metro Business Action) hosted three environmental experts to talk about the water quality on Long Island. The panelists were Carrie Meek Gallagher, Regional Director, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation; Dorian Dale, Director of Sustainability & Chief Recovery Officer, Suffolk County; and Dr. John Tanacredi, Director, Center for Environmental Research and Coastal Oceans Monitoring, Molloy College.
Ms. Gallagher discussed how one of the primary causes of groundwater quality deterioration is legacy military and industrial activity on the Island, which discharged solvents and other hazardous waste materials into the ground; over time, the discharge permeated our sole source aquifer, creating plumes that contaminated our only source of drinking water, resulting in the need for treatment to be added to many drinking water supply wells, and the closure and abandonment of others. She also discussed the need for water conservation and how overpumping the aquifers also affects groundwater quality by facilitating saltwater intrusion and plume migration.
Mr. Dale announced a new Septic Improvement Program that grows out of County Executive Steve Bellone’s Reclaim Our Water initiative. The county will be providing up to $11,000 in grants toward the installation of innovative/advance onsite wastewater systems that cost approximately $20,000. Homeowners can cover the difference with a 3% interest loan from a participating non-governmental organization. In effect, the delta between the costs of these advanced systems, which reduce nitrogen by up to 75% over conventional septic systems, is approximately $3,000. He added that the cost of water in Suffolk — which is operated by a New York State public authority — is $1.81 per 1,000 gallons, whereas, in Nassau, which uses a privately held water company, users are charged a blended price of $4.45 per 1,000 gallons.
Using maps featuring local bodies of water, Dr. Tanacredi showed those in attendance where the areas of concerns lie. He discussed the presence of fish kills, algae blooms and brown tides, adding that, while some of these are the result of manmade causes, some are also part of the cycles of nature. He also spoke of the need to reduce nitrogen runoff, which, he says, has had serious negative effects on the water supply.
For more information, or for a list of upcoming events, call (631) 757-1698 or visit www.limba.net.
Since 1968, LIMBA (Long Island Metro Business Action) has been Long Island’s catalyst for economic investment and improvement, sponsoring lively breakfast forums featuring Long Island business activists and government officials. Its mission is to promote and address issues that affect the quality of life on Long Island. For more information, call (631) 757-1698 or visit www.limba.net.