When the DEC drafted its SGEIS on hydraulic fracturing, it identified some potential locations at which the toxics-laden waste water from the process might be “treated” and released back into the environment. In particular, Suffolk County’s Bergen Point Sewage Treatment Plant in West Babylon was identified as a potential accepting point for flowback fluid from the fracking process. As this plant releases “treated” water to the Atlantic Ocean, it would be very difficult to record high levels of toxins or radioactivity in the water body after the inadequate “treatment” of the fracking waste. What other possible reason would there be to truck the waste to Long Island, far, far from the Marcellus Shale, and near, near to many people?
Well, there is also environmental racism. West Babylon is home to one of Long Island’s densest population of black people.
Regardless the reason that DEC may have considered West Babylon’s Bergen Point a good place to bring frack waste, a pair of Suffolk County lawmakers wants to pass a local law to make sure that it doesn’t happen. Suffolk County Legislator Kara Hahn (D-Setauket) and Deputy Presiding Officer Wayne R. Horsley (D-Lindenhurst), have announced that they have filed a bill that would prohibit the acceptance of fracking waste at any Suffolk County Waste Water Treatment Plant.
“It dumfounds me how anyone could think such an environmentally sensitive area like Long Island, and specifically Suffolk County, would be a good place to bring the toxin filled
wastewater produced by hydrofracking,” said Legislator Hahn. “Our facilities are not equipped to deal with the kind of chemical concoction used at these sites and would ultimately result in this waste being untreated and discharged directly into the Atlantic
Ocean.” …. “To think that Bergen Point on the Great South Bay is a viable dumping site for wastewater produced from Hydraulic Fracturing is simply unconscionable,” said Deputy Presiding
Officer Horsley whose district includes the treatment facility.
The measure will be introduced at the Suffolk County Legislature’s next meeting, March 13.