On December 21, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a successful suit against New York State Parks to close 36 illegal, large capacity cesspools (LCC’s) on Long Island as part of a larger action to close 54 LCC’s across New York State.
The State commenced an investigation of its facilities as a result of a 2013 suit brought by Peconic Baykeeper for violations of the Clean Water Act. That investigation and the action by the EPA have lead to the commitment to upgrade parks on Long Island and across the state. LCC’s have been illegally operating in New York State since 2005, when they were banned by the EPA.
Additionally, New York State Parks has agreed to pay a fine of $150,000, and conduct nitrogen-mitigation measures on several local state parks, including Robert Moses, Sunken Meadow, and Wildwood. Measures will include urine separation urinals in men’s bathrooms, upgraded nitrogen-reducing septic systems, and wetland creation to treat wastewater. Peconic Baykeeper’s suit against NY State Parks remains ongoing, as separate violations of the Clean Water Act have not been addressed in this judgement.
Find out more about Peconic Baykeeper, led by Sean O’Neill, and their work to protect our waters at peconicbaykeeper.org.