Nassau County Urged to Restore Water Test Funds

Or: what you don’t know can’t end up on your tax bill… until the next generation has to figure out what they’re going to drink.

From Water for Long Island:

(Oyster Bay, NY) – A group of organizations and concerned citizens known as Water for Long Island gathered at Friends of the Bay to publicly call for Nassau County to finally reinstate funding for the United States Geological Survey (USGS) monitoring of the County’s water resources.

In 2010, the County terminated its contractual partnership with the USGS and a continuous historical record of 60 years or more, for some sites, was broken.

In September 2013, the County announced it would partner with local water suppliers for a one-year restoration of funding for 2014. The USGS has yet to receive the funds.

“Without the scientific data provided by the US Geological Survey, there is no way to make the necessary decisions and take the necessary actions for protecting the very precious, vital, vulnerable water we rely on. Renewal of the Nassau County-USGS partnership is a no-brainer. It is essential if we are to assure adequate water quality and quantity in the years ahead,” said Paula Blum on behalf of Nancy Rosenthal and Jane Thomas, Co-Presidents of the League of Women Voters of Nassau County.

“Nassau County is jeopardizing its ability to protect our groundwater with ongoing scientific and comprehensive data collection by not partnering with the USGS,” said Rea Schnittman, concerned citizen.

“Looking at what people are willing to pay for gives us a good idea of what they value. Using this indicator, it would appear that Nassau County can’t think very highly of the need to monitor its water resources. For the second time in a decade, Nassau County terminated its partnership with the USGS allowing a hole in the annual groundwater data collected for the county to grow larger and larger. Now, time is running out to get the USGS in the field for 2014 in order to collect some of the important water data that is obtained only once a year. Since high quality information and good science are essential for good policy, action is needed now to fix this critical problem,” said Sarah Meyland, Director, Center for Water Resources Management at NYIT.

“The USGS monitoring helps provide a picture of how Long Island’s dynamic aquifer system is functioning,” said Bill Stegemann, Conservation Chair of Sierra Club’s LI Group. “That information forms the foundation for protecting the groundwater supply. Nassau County needs to follow through with funding.”

Gerald A. Ottavino, Co-chair of Point Lookout Civic Association’s Environmental Committee was adamant saying, “Nassau County’s ‘No Data – No Problem’ approach to water management is imprudent. Further delays and excuses are totally unacceptable, and must end now. The partnership between Nassau and the U.S. Geological Survey must be renewed at once so the status of our groundwater and aquifer system may be assessed scientifically and publicly reported.”

Sandra D’Arcangelo of the Coalition of Nassau Civic Associations (CONCA) cautioned, “The Water Wars could start soon. New York City is redeveloping their groundwater wells in Queens without much public discussion or environmental impact studies. Without a renewed partnership with the US Geological Survey to monitor its groundwater and assess the state of its aquifer system, Nassau will not have the scientific data necessary to protect its already dwindling water supply.”

Nassau’s 1.3 million residents are totally dependent upon groundwater for their drinking water. The absence of monthly and yearly water information collection will affect the accuracy of water modeling, and other types of evaluations such as annual water table maps, stream flow and discharge volumes, recharge, water quality and many other parameters that are critical to evaluate the status of the water resources of the region and to help plan for the future.

The annual funding cycle for the USGS began October 1, 2013. Funding should have been in place so that the USGS could resume its full-scale operations, essential for our understanding of local and regional water conditions.

Water for Long Island urges Nassau County and its partners to reestablish the annual comprehensive water monitoring program with the USGS.  An appropriation of approximately $150,000 will reinstate this essential program. The County and its water industry partners – the Long Island Water Conference and Nassau Suffolk Water Commissioners Association – should finalize the contracts with the USGS immediately so monitoring, testing and assessment may recommence at once.

About Water for Long Island:
Water for Long Island is a grassroots organization dedicated to working with water suppliers, government, community, environmental groups, academic institutions, and individuals to advance effective groundwater and water supply management on Long Island. Groups and individuals involved include the following: Center for Water Resources Management at NYIT; Conservation Board of the Village of Lloyd Harbor; Friends of the Bay; Coalition of Nassau Civic Associations; East Norwich Civic Association; League of Women Voters (Nassau County, East Nassau, Suffolk County, Huntington); LI Drinking Water Coalition; North Country Garden Club; North Shore Land  Alliance; Point Lookout Civic Assoc.; South Shore Audubon; The Sierra Club, LI Group; and Laurie Farber, Barbara Sullivan Parry, and Rea Schnittman as individuals.


Event: CONCA Water Forum

This Thursday October 24, 2013 from the Coalition of Nassau Civic Associations (CONCA).
Click the title below to go to the event page

Thursday – October 24, 2013 @ 7 p.m.
Syosset/Woodbury Community Center
7800 Jericho Turnpike, Woodbury

If you’ve followed the “What’s in Our Water” series, are concerned about Long Island’s drinking water and waterways, and especially OUR DRINKING WATER from the Lloyd Aquifer here on this barrier island, please attend and get involved.

These are the people at the forefront of real information and real solutions.

Scheduled to speak is

  • Sarah Meyland of NYIT, who is the foremost authority on Long Island’s water and its aquifers.
  • Maureen Murphy from Citizens Campaign for the Environment will tell us what is in our drinking water.
  • Nassau County Department of Health has been invited to discuss water tests and report on the quality of our water.

A question and answer period will follow.

Time to Act: LNG or Not


The final in this LNG series.

These are the last days to make Public (YOU) Comments to the Maritime Administration by Thursday August 22, 2013.

These government employees and politicians are faced with paid professional lobbyists (and their pressure) on a daily basis but don’t get to hear much from the public. Probably one of the most pertinent quotes from a speaker at the hearing was Cindy Zipf, from Clean Ocean Action who said:

“By letting them know how we feel, we make it easier for them to say ‘no.'”

Remember : you have every right to make your voice heard.

Previous posts:

please see our previous posts “Liquid Natural Gas Port Off Pt Lookout!?”
LNG: They Said It Couldn’t Happen
LI LNG and the Media Silence
LNG: What’s the Problem?
Nassau Civic Groups Oppose LNG Port

for more in-depth info.

First up: links for YOU to DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT:

click here for all the public information regarding the LNG Port licensing request :

Tell them no! Comment to the regulators on the project’s official government docket by clicking here by 8/22/13.

Click here to sign the Sierra Club petition : No LNG Port In NY / NJ Waters

Petition to Governor Cuomo to veto the project by clicking here

To see a synopsis of what was said and quotes from numerous speakers at the hearing click here.

Safety, air, water, environment, security, property, health :
If we are supposed to sacrifice these things in the name of something; some kind of benefit to ourselves, our community, our country, or mankind; no one has said what that benefit is.

Liberty Natural Gas is a fracking company / hedge fund based out of Calgary Canada with finances in the Cayman Islands – that is their business.

What could go wrong?

Well just since the hearing, lets have a look:

Right after my post on the exploding tanker, as if on cue, there was the “Disaster in Quebec”

24 dead, town blown up, company much less than helpful

Then, 2 days later, there was a real life “natural gas spill” in the Gulf Of Mexico

which “left a four-mile wide “rainbow sheen” on the water’s surface south of Louisiana, the Coast Guard said”

as the company yawned and said they’d get around to solving it in a few days.

Please can we get a pretty rainbow sheen for our waters, too?

See the story from CNN, “Coast Guard: Natural gas leak in Gulf.”

Then a week later this happened:

A second major spill –
“Wall St Journal: Gas-Well Blowout Revives Doubts on Drilling Safety”

That one they don’t know how to fix yet. Same problems as the BP oil spill -blowouts and capping problems.

I wonder about all the ones we’re not hearing about!

Oops, : Another secret massive oil spill where the media is being blocked out from filming, photographing and reporting anything besides what the company approves with help of government response teams :

Cold Lake oil spill leaking for months: Documents.

The same thing happened in the Exxon Arkansas neighborhood spill.

The company said it was too dangerous to have civilians and reporters in the area or helicoptering overhead so police and private security kept them out.

New information in that Arkansas Spill-
Exxon knew and didn’t care, kept pushing anyway ( I’m shocked!)

Environmental roulette so the few can get rich and cut and run in a disaster. If they’re caught, there is no criminal penalty and the fine is so small it usually amounts to a couple hours profits for these companies.

Pipelines and public lands – a bad connection!

I have found this industry article saying there is a connection between this project and the pipeline being jammed through the Rockaways, Brooklyn etc. so why isn’t the company forthcoming on this?

That Rockaways pipeline proceeds over public objections by running through public lands- the city’s at their Jacob Riis Park and the federal Government at Gateway National Park to avoid public intervention. I see a pattern here-

Will Jones Beach State Park be next?
It seems like its a real coincidence.

Washing up

Everyday, our beach has garbage wash up on it. Soda cans, tampon applicators, plastic bags, balloons are guaranteed -daily.

just everyday garbage that washes up on our beach.  you think this project won't add to this?

just everyday garbage that washes up on our beach. you think this project won’t add worse stuff to this?

Where does all the garbage come from? Much is from garbage barges that are 10-20 miles away.

We are foolish not to expect to see the effects of this project washing up regularly. And even scarier would be all the things washing up that you can’t see!

Tanker explosions, wackos, changed earth orbits

Oh my.
I took some flack over my fictitious story about the LNG tanker exploding on other blogs etc. I even merited my first “wacko”(bows) and I’m going to show you this picture that was made available to me that I am not far wrong.

As you can see from this diagram from Sandia National Laboratory THEY say this is a potential disaster and needs to studied.

As you can see from this diagram from Sandia National Laboratory, THEY say this is a potential disaster and needs to studied.

An interesting speaker spoke at the hearing about this very subject saying the industry has only studied pin size holes in gas lines.
There are no studies on a breach of the tankers hull.
Another speaker, an attorney for Suffolk County said in her research into the last LNG port, she was given a copy of the Maritime college textbook which claimed that if an entire LNG tanker exploded it would be powerful enough to “knock the earth off its orbit”.

And here I thought I was just taking things a little too far in making my point! Maybe I didn’t go far enough.


Time To Decide

Thanks to CONCA (The Coalition of Nassau Civic Associations) for coming out AGAINST the project, forcefully. Read the letter at the link at the top.

Time is running out whether you decide or not, others are going to make their decisions. Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson reminded us that “if you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice”.

Of course, for both individuals and groups, silence will be taken as a

“yes, please give us your problem so you can offshore the profits to another country and leave our town on the hook for all the risk of your project, thank you!”

Make a statement on the official government regulators’ docket against the project on the links above.
I can’t stop you from copying and pasting that excellent letter from CONCA into those comments and adding your two cents… Just saying.

You can also find the Surfriders link here that will supply a downloadable opposition letter for you to make the case.

Please. Take. Action. Now!

It is obvious this is not going to be just our politicians or civic associations’ responsibility to do something about this.

It is our responsibility.

Please. Click the links above to let the government and everyone else know we do not want this.

Please. share this with everyone you know using the buttons below for email and social media.

Lets make people aware, lets unite and be heard.
Last chance!


Nassau Civic Groups Oppose LNG Port


CONCA, (The Coalition of Nassau Civic Associations), the largest association of Nassau County civic associations, to which Point Lookout Civic Association belongs, has come out against the Port Ambrose LNG Terminal off our shores.


Their letter to the Regulators:

(On CONCA letterhead to the Maritime Administration)

Dear (Maritime Administration):

The Coalition of Nassau Civic Associations (“CONCA”) is comprised of multiple civic associations, representing hundreds of thousands of respective resident-taxpayers, located in Nassau County.
CONCA is writing this letter to oppose Liberty Natural Gas and its plan to build a deepwater liquefied natural gas (“LNG”) facility, called Port Ambrose, 19 miles off the south shore of Nassau County; and is doing so for the following reasons:

First is climate change. Due to global warming, severer weather events are being forecasted for Nassau County, and more frequently. Keeping in mind Nassau’s south shore is still struggling to rebuild after Superstorm Sandy, situating Port Ambrose less than 19 miles south of Nassau County would stress communities to the breaking point if the facility was damaged by another extreme storm.

Second is security. In recent weeks, LNG facilities in Yemen were reportedly on Al Qaeda’s target list. Port Ambrose’s proposed location is at the entry of New York Harbor. Given the U.S. Coast Guard’s drastic funding and personnel cuts, this poses a security threat to the entire region. Simply, Nassau County’s southern coast could not be assured adequate protection if reassigned USCG vessels were forced to undertake the full-time job of guarding LNG tankers coming in and out of NY Harbor.
If there was a terrorist attack on Port Ambrose or the facility was damaged by an extreme storm (or otherwise ruined), the domestic natural gas currently feeding Long Island would be severely compromised, possibly causing Nassau residents and businesses to lose their entire supply.

Third is intent. Perhaps of greatest concern is not that Liberty intends to import natural gas to Long Island; but rather the technical ease in which it can convert Port Ambrose from an import to an export facility; requiring only written permission, but neither a public hearing nor comment period. In addition, the process of liquefying our domestic natural gas has become conveniently simplified in recent years, to the point where it can be effected on board ship.
Like water, natural gas is a local, natural resource. Also, our supply is not infinite. It is indeed limited; and should neither be owned nor mined by a foreign company to be sold outside the U.S. CONCA’s concern is Liberty will hasten domestic depletion at the expense of current and future generations. And, as the demand for natural gas grows overseas, exportation is sure to increase as well. Already, licenses have been issued to export 40% of all the natural gas mined in the United States. The bitter irony is as overseas energy markets profit, Nassau will not reap any of the benefits, financial or otherwise. In fact, by depleting our own inexpensive, domestic supply, we will be increasing its price here on Long Island. Evidence shows exporting natural gas will increase the cost to heat our homes, as foreign energy enterprises reap massive profits overseas.

Fourth is hydrofracking, which CONCA deems an environmental death sentence. Given natural gas is in great demand and will fetch much higher prices overseas, the Energy Information Administration has already predicted record setting production rates; and the most financially expedient way to satisfy this accelerating demand is hydrofracking, the fastest and cheapest method of mining the resource. If NY State were to lift its current ban on hydrofracking, this would, in effect, free the energy companies, allowing them free reign to contaminate the land; pollute ground and drinking water; and change the State’s landscape forever. And, since they will require a terminal to export the gas, the Port Ambrose facility will satisfy their needs and facilitate their ambitions, including justifying over-mining the resource and advancing hydrofracking in NY State.

Lastly, alternatives to fossil fuels must be aggressively pursued to assure our future welfare. Advancing natural gas production for sale in foreign markets is not in the best interest of Nassau County nor the Country.

Therefore, CONCA, on behalf of the multiple civic associations and myriad resident-taxpayers it represents, requests the Maritime Administration deny Liberty Natural Gas any and all permits to construct Port Ambrose off the south shore of Nassau County.

Respectfully submitted,

Philip Franco, President