(Suffolk County, NY-October 24, 2016)– Suffolk County Executive Bellone announced that the County has executed design contracts for four key sewer projects that comprise the $388 million Suffolk County Coastal Resiliency Initiative. This action serves as a critical next step in advancing the County’s wastewater infrastructure, strengthening the region’s coastal resiliency and reducing nitrogen pollution in the County’s waterways.
The commencement of the design phase of the projects marks an important step forward in the County’s Reclaim Our Water initiative, designed to reduce nitrogen pollution of groundwater and surface waters from cesspools and septic systems through connection of communities to sewer systems where possible, and the installation of advanced on-site wastewater treatment systems in areas where sewering is not a practical solution.
In 2014, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo announced $383 million in state and federal post-Sandy resiliency funding would be made available through the Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery (GOSR) to sewer communities along four river corridors in low-lying areas along Suffolk County’s south shore that had been inundated by Superstorm Sandy. U.S. Senator Charles Schumer was instrumental in securing federal funding for the sewering of the low lying communities in Suffolk County. The funding sources include: $266 million in Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) funding through the Federal Emergency Management Agency, $43 million in Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery funding from the U.s. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and $74 million to be financed through low-interest loans from the Clean Water State Revolving Fund administered by the New York State Environmental Facilities Corporation.
“In the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy we experienced first-hand the vulnerability of our shoreline communities,” said County Executive Steve Bellone. “I thank Governor Cuomo, Senator Schumer, Senator Gillibrand and our New York State delegation for helping to secure the funding that has enabled Suffolk County to advance the largest investment in wastewater infrastructure in 40 years. We have now entered the design phase for four critically important sewer projects that by connecting nearly 10,000 homes and businesses to active treatment, will reduce harmful nitrogen pollution and make our coastline more resilient.”
The extension of sewers to these following areas along the south shore is an important step to help Suffolk County to continue to fully recover from Superstorm Sandy and will dramatically jump start a comprehensive effort to reduce nitrogen pollution that adversely affects coastal wetlands that protect communities from damaging storms and are critical to the region’s economic and environmental health. The proposed projects include:
Forge River Watershed in Mastic, Town of Brookhaven: An estimated $188 million project would address storm impacts and reduce extensive nitrogen pollution to the Forge River and Great South Bay. The proposed project would: install sewers along Montauk Hwy from William Floyd Parkway to the Forge River, install sewers in the residential area south of Montauk Highway just west of Forge River and construct a sewer treatment plant at Calabro Airport. A total of 2100 residential units and 190 businesses will be connected to a new state-of-the-art treatment facility.
Carlls River Watershed in North Babylon, West Babylon and Wyandanch, Town of Babylon: An estimated $91 million project would address storm impacts and reduce nitrogen and pathogen pollution in the Carlls River and Great South Bay. The proposed project would: install sewers in residential areas just west of Straight Path Road and also along Bay Shore Road and residential areas to the north. A total of 2600 residential units will be connected and total sewage flow will be 1 mgd.
Connetquot River Watershed in Great River, Town of Islip: An estimated $27 million project would be used to address nitrogen pollution and pathogens in Connetquot River, Nicoll Bay and Great South Bay. The proposed project would: install sewers in the Great River residential areas between the Heckscher Pkwy and the Connetquot River. A total of 500 residences will be connected. Total sewage flow will be 150,000 gallons per day and residences will be connected to South West Sewer District.
Patchogue River Watershed in the Village of Patchogue: An estimated $18 million project would be used to address nitrogen and pathogen pollution in Patchogue River, Patchogue Lake and the Great South Bay. The proposed project would: install sewers south of Main street between West Avenue and South Ocean Avenue. A total of 648 residential units will be connected to the Village of Patchogue Waste Water Treatment Plant and 300,000 gallons per day will be generated and connected.
“This announcement means that Suffolk County is well on its way to critical water-sewer upgrades, a critical component of nitrogen removal and flood protection,” said U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer. “These four sewer projects will provide thousands of Suffolk County homes access to sewers so runoff doesn’t go into the Great South Bay and make matters worse. Resiliency projects like these are just what we had in mind when crafting the Sandy Relief Bill and that’s why I fought so hard for these efforts to be prioritized”
Congressman Lee Zeldin said, "These critical sewer infrastructure projects will help improve our local economy, quality of life and environment on Long Island. Previously as a State Senator, and now as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, I have long been focused on securing state and federal dollars to help Suffolk County upgrade our sewer infrastructure. I look forward to working with all levels of government to complete much needed improvements that have been needed for decades."
“Governor Cuomo is committed to the restoration of critical infrastructure damaged by Superstorm Sandy, and to ensuring that communities are prepared for the next big storm,” said Sabrina M. Ty, EFC President and CEO. "EFC is proud to help provide financial assistance to these projects that will provide resiliency and reduce nitrogen pollution in Suffolk County. ”
"Sewer infrastructure is critical to Long Islands drinking water and preventing further damage to our Great South Bay and our economic prosperity", said NYS Senator Tom Croci. "I am so pleased the County is pursuing sewer projects in our historic downtown business areas and MacArthur Airport business corridor. This will allow businesses to expand and create jobs and prevent nitrogen pollution from septic systems in our Great South Bay."
“Sewers are key to revitalizing the health of the Great South Bay,” stated Deputy Presiding Officer Robert Calarco. “As the representative of the Patchogue Village area, I am thrilled this project is moving along. Thank you to Governor Cuomo, County Executive Bellone, and Mayor Paul Pontieri for all of their hard work on this much-needed project.”
“For decades officials talked about the need to sewer critical areas on the Mastic/Shirley/Mastic Beach peninsula,” stated Legislator Kate Browning. “Unfortunately, it was always talk and no action. Eight years ago I made it a priority to move the issue forward and finally make it a reality by initiating the necessary feasibility study. I fought to have a shovel ready project in the event funding became available, and Super Storm Sandy provided it. I am proud to say that the tri-hamlet peninsula is receiving the majority of funding allocated to Suffolk County for sewer infrastructure, which shows we are finally a priority. This project will reverse the degradation of the Forge Rive, revitalize our downtown business districts and pave the way for sewering the entire area. This is history in the making and we are all excited to see it come to fruition.”