August 19, 2013
Presiding Officer Gonsalves Tours ‘Sandy’ Ravaged Sewage Treatment Plant
Presiding Officer Norma L. Gonsalves and the Republican Legislators once again toured the storm-ravaged Bay Park Sewage Treatment Plant to review the damage that still needs to be addressed, 9 months after Superstorm Sandy.
“Thanks to the Democratic legislators, we have been in a gridlock over funding the repairs to this plant,” said Legislator Gonsalves. “After touring the plant, it is apparent the partial funding the Democrats have provided and seem to be satisfied with is not good enough. There is simply too much work still to be done.”
The Bay Park Sewage Treatment Plant, which services 500,000 Nassau residents, was shut down for two days after 9 feet of saltwater entered the facility during Sandy.The greatest damage was done to the plant’s electrical system which was completely submerged by seawater and continues to corrode. To date, the plant is still operating on emergency back-up generators at a cost of $1 million per month.
To fix this vital infrastructure and to prevent damage from future severe weather, County Executive Mangano has introduced a Capital Improvement Plan to invest $722 million in the sewage plant in Bay Park, as well as its sister plant at Cedar Creek. The proposed sewer rehabilitation plan is vital to the reconstruction of these facilities and is eligible for up to 90% reimbursement from the Federal Emergency Management Administration (“FEMA”). So far, the Democrats have approved barely a third of the requested investment, denying funding for critical improvements such as odor control, construction of a storm barrier and replacement of the electrical system.
“This plant is hanging on by a thread,” said Legislator Gonsalves. “One more storm could leave over half a million Nassau County residents without the ability to flush their toilets. It would be a disaster.”
Shown in photo: Presiding Officer Gonsalves with a plant engineer and other legislators viewing the “pump room” which was submerged with sea water during Superstorm Sandy.