More than two dozen residents attended an informational session with state senator Carl Marcellino Thursday night at the Glen Cove Public Library, covering a range of topics including local treatment of wastewater from upstate hydrofracking, transgender rights and the rescinding of the MTA tax on businesses.
Marcellino addressed the wastewater issue first, saying that Glen Cove’s sewage treatment plant had been included on a list of possible treatment sites for fracking wastewater only because of the plant’s “pre-treatment cabability,” not due to any plans in place.
“I had a conversation with Ed Mangano yesterday and again today. He has assured me he will not grant permission for this to occur, so it will not be allowed to come into this county. I doubt if Mayor Suozzi would permit it, and on that basis I think you can rest assured that this will not happen in the city of Glen Cove,” Marcellino said.
The state’s review process concerning the practice by which natural gas is extracted from underground has been underway for some time, he said, and will continue until the state Department of Environmental Conservation determines if and how it can be done safely. He said that evaluation is being given extensive consideration and is not being rushed.
In the event fracking becomes a reality, any wastewater that could theoretically be brought from upstate sites would have to be trucked – an expensive proposition that is unrealistic due to the volume of water which would be involved, Marcellino said.
Several residents expressed strong opinions about the dangers of the fracking process and the toxic chemicals involved. One man raised his voice to a yell, questioning Mangano’s honesty and calling the local DEC “feckless,” to which Marcellino responded with a raise of voice of his own.
“I will defend the DEC’s ability to control and modify because I work with them almost on a daily basis on problems all over the state, all over Long Island, Region One, all over the place. They work very hard, they’re a dedicated people, they’re smart people, and they’re not going to do anything stupid, because they drink the same water and breathe the same air you do, and they don’t want to poison their air for their children – the same thing you do, they have the same concerns. They live here too!” Marcellino said.
The senator also responded to questions about a bill that would grant transgender persons protections from discrimination, saying he doesn’t want anyone discriminated against but won’t support the bill as it exists because of several caveats which he declined to get into in detail.
The topic of water treatment came up again when one man claimed to have evidence of a leakage which he said was allowed to continue for eight months before Bay Park Sewage Treatment Plant was fined $1 million.
Marcellino asked his staff to take the man’s name and promised to meet with him to examine his evidence.
Mayor Ralph Suozzi and several city council members were in attendance but did not speak publicly.
Correction: This story earlier reported that the sewage leak occurred at Glen Cove's sewage treatment plant. It was really the Bay Park plant, as was noted by a commenter.