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Blank Slate Media Newspapers, Friday, August 10, 2018

Assembly speaker visits N. Shore Carl Heastie reviews treatment plant in G.N., beach erosion in Baxter Estates BY JA N E LL E C L AUS E N

State Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie visited the North Shore and South Shore to see the consequences climate change has had on Long Island last Tuesday, with officials underscoring the importance of helping the environment. Heastie toured the Great Neck Water Pollution Control District’s East Shore Road facility, which has sought to be an environmentally friendly wastewater treatment plant, and Baxter Estates Beach to study Manhasset Bay, as part of a larger statewide tour. “It is important that we continue to focus on funding water treatment plants like the Great Neck Water Pollution Control District to protect our environment, while finding mechanisms to mitigate the effects of our wavering climate,” Heastie said. Joining Heastie during parts of the day were numerous officials, including Town of North Hempstead Councilwomen Lee Seeman and Anna Kaplan, Thomaston Mayor Steven Weinberg, Great Neck Estates Deputy Mayor Jeffrey Farkas, Sierra Club chair Jane Fasullo and Sarah Deonarine, head of the Manhasset Bay Protection Committee. Officials said that Manhasset Bay has experienced “significant wetland loss” over the decades due to climate change, putting sidewalks, trees and vegetation at risk.

impact generations to come if we do not make them a priority,” D’Urso said. “Climate events will become more prevalent due to climate changes and chemical pollutants, which are an unfortunate reality.” D’Urso added that facilities like those of the district’s plant are hoping to “combat these effects” through education, technology and cooperation. On the facility tour, Heastie and officials saw the facility’s upgraded anaerobic digesters, which trap and convert methane into energy, microturbines and an ultraviolet disinfection system. According to water district officials, a third of the district’s electricity and 80 percent of its heat are generated on site. It also PHOTO COURTESY OF THE GREAT NECK WATER POLLUTION CONTROL DISTRICT uses effluent water and minimizes its water use to save millions of gallons per year. It also completed requirements imGreat Neck Water Pollution Control District Commissioner Steve Reiter and Composed by the state Department of Environmissioner Patty Katz speak with State Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and Anmental Conservation for removing nitrogen thony D’Urso during a recent presentation and tour of the district’s headquarters. from water six months ahead of schedule, district officials said, with water in the disState Assemblyman Anthony D’Urso, trict having 4 milligrams of nitrogen per And Baxter Estates Mayor Nora Haagenson, also in attendance, said her community the chair of the Assembly’s Long Island liter — less than half of the 10.7 milligram is at the forefront of climate change’s effects. South Task Force and a member of the En- state requirement. “The Village of Baxter Estates was hon- vironmental Conservation Committee, had Heastie also visited homes in Babylon ored to have a visit from New York Assembly invited Heastie to tour Manhasset Bay and still affected by Superstorm Sandy from Speaker Carl Heastie who came to observe Great Neck’s wastewater management facil- 2012 and discussed the feasibility of installfirst-hand the erosion at Baxter Beach and ity. ing a sea gate to try to protect Long Island “There are many environmental issues from storm surges. the threat to the infrastructure within the village caused by the erosion,” Haagenson said. currently affecting Long Island which will

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