Goldfeder Urges Senate to Immediately Pass Bill to Protect Jamaica Bay From Toxic Dumping
Goldfeder’s bill to preserve Jamaica Bay passes Assembly; awaits Senate’s approval
Once again, Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder’s legislation (A-02074) that would preventhazardous materials from being dumped into Jamaica Bay’s borrow pits and limit the risk of water contamination passed the State Assembly and awaits approval in the State Senate.
“This legislation is not only vital to protect the waters of Jamaica Bay from hazardous dumping, but it will ensure that thousands of endangered bird species and wildlife remain safe,” said Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder. “It is unacceptable that the Senate is dragging their feet with this critical legislation and I strongly urge all my colleagues in the Senate to vote on this bill today and ensure our waters do not go another day unprotected.”
Presently, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) does not have guidelines for state waters, including Jamaica Bay. This legislation would prohibit DEC from issuing permits that would allow hazardous materials from being dumped into the borrow pits of Jamaica Bay and contaminating the surrounding waters. Borrow pits include a number of locations throughout the bay that have an increased depth as a result of past Army Corp. of Engineer dredging projects that have removed sand from the bay floor to fill in adjacent areas.
“Assemblyman Goldfeder’s legislation will close a legislative loophole that has threatened Jamaica Bay for over thirty years,” said Dan Mundy Jr. of the Jamaica Bay Ecowatchers. “The current regulation that allows contaminated fill to be placed in the waters of the bay has attracted numerous ill-conceived plans that are possibly driven by huge potential financial benefits to a few, while potentially destroying the bay forever! This legislation will end these plans and the threats they pose for good! Assemblyman Goldfeder has been at the leading edge in advocating for the protection and preservation of Jamaica Bay in order to ensure this treasured resource can be enjoyed by future generations.”
Similar legislation currently already exists to prevent dumping in ocean waters—such toxic materials cannot be dumped in the ocean and it should not be allowed in the bay either, Goldfeder noted.
“We cannot wait any longer for the Senate to act,” concluded Assemblyman Goldfeder. “Dredged materials leaching with toxins have no right to be dumped in our waters. We must do everything we can to keep our families away from harm and preserve the natural ecosystem of Jamaica Bay for years to come.”
Following the State Senate’s approval, the legislation will require the signature of the Governor before it will become a law.