2011-02-11 / Letters

Gotta Love DEP

Dear Editor,

I was stopped the other day by a neighbor who asked me if it was true that the Department of Sanitation was prohibited from “dumping plowed snow into Jamaica Bay?”

Yes, it is true!

“The department no longer dumps snow into any body of water surrounding New York City,” Matthew LiPani, a spokesman for the Sanitation Department, the city’s snow removal agency, said by e-mail. “This practice, which would require an emergency permit from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, has been eliminated with the use of snow melters, which can melt one ton of snow per minute, while filtering out any debris and discharging the melt water into the city’s wastewater treatment system.”

Why?

In a word, pollution. Those piles of pure white stuff really aren’t. All the other debris collected by the plows and backhoes would join the snow in the Bay.

When is the last time you have seen one of these “snow melters” on any of our side streets?

Of course, none of the above makes any sense when you have the Sanitation

Department dump ten foot mounds of snow at the bay end of our blocks here in Broad Channel, which simply remain there creating huge lakes of ponded runoff at the end of each block until they are washed away or melt into, you guessed it ... Jamaica Bay!

Additionally, consider the fact that all of the debris collected by the routine tidal flooding on our Broad Channel street is ultimately washed out with the receding tide into the bay!

Ya gotta love the D.E.P.’s logic regarding snow removal here in Broad Channel!

PETER J. MAHON

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