Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York The sole source of every Long Islander’s drinking water is being threatened by over-development, pesticides and rising sea levels. But are the policymakers pitching sound planning solutions or something more worthy of being flushed down the toilet?Suffolk County recently released its much-anticipated Comprehensive Water Resources Management Plan, a 1,040-page document that focuses on nitrogen reduction, the most imminent threat to water quality thanks to the hundreds of thousands of homes, businesses and farms that have cesspools instead of sewer connections. What’s just as troubling is that many of these septic systems were built before 1972.Besides calling for the expansion of the county’s sewer infrastructure—one estimate says completely covering Suffolk would cost $9 billion—the plan tellingly calls for ways to “stimulate development in order to promote economic growth and stability.”How very interesting that a proposal to protect Long Island’s crucial water resources mentions the need to promote development.Overall, the new plan is a decent document, but like so many actions taken by the county as of late, it typifies a flawed philosophy that prioritizes economic growth first, and everything else second. Any solid environmental planning effort is based on scientific data, and this latest comprehensive plan is no exception. But its solutions may not be substantive enough. And putting development over water protection will not make environmental actions any stronger.Created in 1987, Suffolk’s first water management plan “provided extensive documentation of the county’s aquifer system, groundwater quantity and groundwater quality.” This plan followed the much acclaimed federally funded Long Island Comprehensive Waste Treatment Management Plan, which was prepared in ’78 pursuant to Section 208 of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act. This groundbreaking report, commonly referred to as the “208 study,” highlighted the linkage between land use and groundwater quality.Subsequently, the ’87 “Comp Plan” laid the foundation for future planning efforts that forever changed the physical layout of LI. Without that effort and other plans to implement its recommendations, the 100,000 acres of the Pine Barrens would long ago have been subdivided and developed, neighborhoods would be noticeably denser, and some of Suffolk’s largest parks would cease to exist.But this latest iteration of the comprehensive plan should shift its philosophic focus from mere management to actual water protection, and employ the resources of the county to properly reduce contamination and protect the aquifer.The current plan stresses the importance of reducing nitrogen but it doesn’t emphasize enough the “soft” solutions, such as the most effective water protection tool, preserving open space or designing green buildings and pushing for tougher zoning. Instead, the plan focuses on sewers, and their relative effectiveness in achieving nitrogen reduction. The push for sewers reveals the county’s true intentions: “stimulate development in order to promote economic growth and stability.”In this age, localities too often decide to increase density in Special Groundwater Protection Areas (SGPA), which previous municipal efforts highlighted as too environmentally sensitive for development. Municipalities must be reined in—but this comprehensive plan isn’t hard enough on them to do it. Just recently, it was reported that the Town of Brookhaven’s Planning Board voted unanimously to subdivide a lot in the South Setauket SGPA and allow residential units without sewer connections, while Islip Town wants to place Heartland Town Square, the much discussed mega-development, in the Oak Brush Plains SGPA.The aquifer won’t be slowly poisoned by large actions, but rather by thousands of small ones. This is the reality the comprehensive plan must not only anticipate, but prevent.Many Suffolk residents don’t realize that their neighborhood’s layout was determined not only by what was considered aesthetically pleasing by the builder, but by strict rules that govern density and wastewater flows. In 1980, Article 6 of the Suffolk County Sanitary Code brought the findings of the 208 study to life. The number of units in a development was determined not by a developer’s desires, but rather, the unique limitations imposed by LI’s aquifer system as determined by its hydrogeologic zones, the geographic areas with differing water absorption rates.From that point on, Suffolk enacted a litany of planning efforts geared toward aquifer protection. Article 6 is often the bane of developers’ existence. Thanks to strict limitations of growth in un-sewered areas, which encompasses roughly 74 percent of homes in Suffolk, an area’s ability to grow is essentially defined by its ability to handle wastewater impacts. The latest comprehensive plan doesn’t argue against development, but looks to accommodate it through hard infrastructure improvements.Sewers are needed for environmental reasons, but they pose their own set of problems. According to the U.S. Geologic Survey, areas with sewers on LI have a lower water table thanks to increased water consumption. Inland sewage treatment plants discharge effluent not to the Great South Bay or the Sound, but back into the groundwater. Further, any discussion of expanding our wastewater infrastructure ignores the nearly insurmountable costs of doing so.If Suffolk were to be completely sewered tomorrow, the aquifer would begin to heal itself thanks to the abundance of recharge provided by ample rainfall. By adding sewers to the county while increasing developmental density, we’re only maintaining the status quo—and our water quality will continue its degradation.We need a true effort to protect our precious natural resource, not something to “stimulate development.” We cannot build our way out of our regional woes, especially when it comes to protecting our water and our waterways.Rich Murdocco writes on Long Island’s land use and real estate development issues. He received his Master’s in Public Policy at Stony Brook University, where he studied regional planning under Dr. Lee Koppelman, Long Island’s veteran master planner. Murdocco will be contributing regularly to the Long Island Press. More of his views can be found on www.TheFoggiestIdea.org or follow him on Twitter @TheFoggiestIdea.
Acting NCUA Chairman J. Mark McWatters is asking the CFPB to use its powers to exempt credit unions from certain agency rules, particularly mortgage reporting requirements.In a Wednesday letter to CFPB Director Richard Cordray, McWatters also asks the agency to issue clear guidance to credit unions concerning the CFPB’s use of its powers to take enforcement actions based on Unfair, Deceptive or Abusive Acts or Practices.“Such regulatory relief would lessen the financial burden on the credit union community, thereby enhancing the capital positions of credit unions and the NCUA’s efforts to ensure the safety and soundness” of the agency’s share insurance fund McWatters stated in his letter.Credit unions have long complained that the CFPB has not used its powers to exempt certain financial institutions from its rulemaking. In October, then-NCUA Chairman Rick Metsger told Cordray that the NCUA, and not the CFPB, should regulate payday lending by credit unions. continue reading » 16SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr
PRESIDENT of the Guyana Badminton Association (GBA), Gokarn Ramdhani was elected vice-president of the Caribbean Regional Badminton Confederation (CAREBACO) when the regional body held its Annual General Meeting (AGM) last Saturday at the National Racquet Centre in Tacarigua, Trinidad and Tobago.After serving for the past four years as General Secretary, he was moved up to the vice-president post. He was unanimously voted in, and will now serve in the post for the next two years.Trinidad’s Rahul Rampersaud was elected to serve as president, while Ramdhani is replaced as secretary by Navin Gayapersad also from Trinidad and Tobago. Suriname’s ReDon Coulor will serve as treasurer, while the committee members are Barbadians Elius Fanus and Andrew Clarke and Aruba’s Terence Sybesma.Ramdhani, who served as manager and head coach of the 9-member team that won 8 medals (3 gold, 2 silver and 3 bronze) at the just concluded CAREBACO Junior Championships, is very happy that Guyana can once again be on the executive board of CAREBACO.
Share SBC Events has reacted to the huge success of last month’s Betting on Football conference by scaling up the exhibition space to drive innovation and product display at Betting on Sports 2017 (13-15 September).The Olympia Conference Centre in Kensington in London will now be hosting up to 50 exhibitors across the first two days of #boscon2017, which will include operators, suppliers, service providers, sports clubs, media companies, affiliates, payment providers and regulators.Betting on Sports 2017 is the second incarnation of the largest international sports and betting trade conference, which is focused on everything related to sports and betting, including esports, tennis, rugby, basketball, and golf.Featuring 35 sessions and eight conference tracks across three conference rooms, the event is expected to attract more than 1,000 senior executives and up to 135 leading industry speakers. The half price early bird ticket promotion will expire in two weeks time, so people are encouraged to book now for the best value conference pass in the industry. Click here to pick up your Betting on Sports 2017 ticket.Rasmus Sojmark, SBC Founder & CEO, commented: “We’ve had such a good response to Betting on Football that it made sense to widen the opportunities for companies wanting to exhibit at Betting on Sports. It gives us the chance to help showcase an even wider variety of product and services to the leaders of the global betting industry.”Just last month, a survey carried out by SBC Events found that no less than 100% of the Betting on Football 2017 exhibitors that responded were interested in returning for Betting on Sports, while 97.4% said they would recommend the event to a colleague. Operators and suppliers were unified in their praise of the event, which will be replicated on an even bigger level for Betting on Sports.Sergey Portnov, CEO of Parimatch, said: “This type of event from SBC plays an inherent part in industry life, and can change the destiny of your company.”Niels Erik Folmann, CEO of Danske Spil, commented: “I had two amazing days at Stamford Bridge. The event offered the perfect mix of great sessions and relevant business meetings. It’s probably the best industry event I’ve attended to date.”Jesper Kärrbrink, CEO of Mr Green, added: “SBC Events are driving innovation and the development of an industry like ours.”Martin Wachter, CEO of Golden Race, concluded: “We have had some very interesting meetings, and now we are moving forward with the biggest players in the industry. I can’t wait for Betting on Sports.”Click here to pick up your Betting on Sports 2017 ticket. The early bird 50% off discount is available until 15 June.If you are interested in sponsoring or exhibiting at #boscon2017, please contact us on [email protected] Share StumbleUpon Danske Spil calls for esports makeover with Pinnacle Solution August 25, 2020 Submit Danish FA backs Danske Spil’s Safe Play campaign August 24, 2020 Parimatch hails top talent of inaugural ‘Universal Sports & Games Hackathon’ August 14, 2020 Related Articles