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Saturday, December 20, 2014

News
FEMA funds OK’d for sewage plant
Cuomo announces large award for repairs, mitigation to storm-ravaged facility
By Brian Croce and Mary Malloy
Herald file photo
The Bay Park plant, which sits just yards from the bay, was knocked out of service for 44 hours after Superstorm Sandy, and roughly 100 million gallons of untreated sewage overflowed into Long Island’s Hewlett Bay.

In the wake of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s announcement last Saturday that the Bay Park Sewage Treatment Plant will see at least $730 million in upgrades thanks to funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the state government, residents are now hopeful that they will soon be rid of the loud, annoying noise of generators and the overpowering smell of sewage at Nassau County’s largest waste facility.

“This will be the largest Sandy infrastructure award and a major victory for the more than 550,000 residents of Nassau County who depend on this critical piece of infrastructure every day,” Cuomo said. “The Bay Park plant project has been a priority in our rebuilding process, and the state remains committed to helping Long Island reach its full recovery and to build back more resilient than before.”

FEMA has committed at least $657 million in funding to the plant, and Cuomo has pledged to use at least $73 million in federal community development block grant funds. The funds will pay for full repair and what Cuomo described as “state-of-the-art protection against future extreme weather” for the plant, its pump stations and other systems.

The facility, which was built in 1949 and treats 65 million gallons of sewage per day — 40 percent of the county’s waste — was out of service for two days after being hit with a 9-foot tidal surge during Hurricane Sandy. The plant, which is just yards from Hewlett Bay, was knocked out of service for 44 hours, and roughly 100 million gallons of untreated sewage flowed into the bay. Another 2.2 billion gallons of partially treated sewage was released during the 44 days it took to fully restore operations, according to scientific researchers at Climate Central.

“I commend Governor Cuomo and Senators [Charles] Schumer and [Kirsten] Gillibrand for securing the critical resources needed to rebuild the Bay Park Sewage Treatment Plant, while protecting our local neighborhoods, waterways and marine life,” said Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano. “The federal, state and county partnership formed to rebuild Nassau County in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy will succeed in strengthening our local infrastructure against future acts of Mother Nature.”

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