(Hauppauge, NY-December 18, 2013) – The Suffolk County Water Quality Protection and Restoration Program (WQPRP) Review Committee recently voted to recommend a total of seven projects to the Suffolk County Legislature for funding appropriations totaling $366,723. The funding would come from the ¼% sales tax collected by the County for environmental preservation and water quality protection projects (11.75% of the ¼% sales tax collected is committed to ground and surface water quality improvement and land stewardship projects).
The WQPRP is administered by the Suffolk County Department of Economic Development and Planning under Deputy County Executive and Commissioner Joanne Minieri. The funding is available to all County departments, as well as to other local municipalities and non-profit organizations on a 50/50 cost share basis.
“The WQPRP gives us the flexibility to fund important water conservation and environmental stewardship projects that encourage inter-municipal cooperation and innovative approaches to protecting our waterways and sole-source aquifer, stated County Executive Bellone. “It remains an important tool in our efforts to protect our environment and our quality of living.”
“Protecting underground and surface waters will help us maintain our social and environmental advantages here in Suffolk County, said Deputy County Executive and Commissioner of Economic Development & Planning Joanne Minieri. “We derive our cultural and economic well-being from the health of our waterways and we will continue to pursue programs that protect that heritage.”
The seven projects recommended for funding are:
• $100,323 to the Suffolk County Department of Health Services for the development of a Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB) action plan and strategy as well as a shellfish aquaculture program assessment. This (HAB) action plan will coordinate workshops with federal, state, and local stakeholders to form a working group of experts, managers, and practitioners in order to update and provide recommendations regarding the increased occurrence and variety of harmful algal blooms (HABs) in Suffolk County’s marine waters.
• $100,000 to the Town of Babylon for Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4s) upgrades and storm water pollution prevention project at Highway Yard. This project would reduce or eliminate storm water discharges to surface waters in the Babylon Highway Yard project area and also remove underground injection control wells (UIC)s that discharge pollutants to groundwater resources.
• $68,350 to Peconic Green Growth for a non-point nitrate removal pilot. This project proposes a pilot installation of a new technology to provide tertiary treatment (using electrolysis) for an intermediate-sized system. This pilot will test a technology that may be capable of being used for both sewage treatment plants and smaller installations.
• $60,050 to Peconic Green Growth for the development of an Orient decentralized wastewater treatment engineering report. The report will investigate the feasibility of wastewater treatment solutions for seven districts within Orient, potentially impacting 572 dwelling units.
• $25,000 to the Peconic Estuary Program and the Suffolk County Department of Health Services to help establish an inter-municipality storm water organization that would promote watershed-based planning, projects, and programs among the 12 municipalities within the Peconic Estuary watershed.
• $8,000 to the Suffolk County Department of Economic Development & Planning for a nitrogen-fertilizer reduction initiative. This program will produce educational materials and provide funds for fertilizer and turf management classes to be provided by Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County.
• $5,000 to the Suffolk County Department of Economic Development & Planning for on-site evaluations of innovative and alternative sewage disposal systems in other regional municipalities. Site visits will be completed by staff members of the Suffolk County Department of Economic Development & Planning, the Department of Public Works and the Department of Health Services and a report will be produced summarizing the observations and findings of these site visitations.