2012-06-22 / Top Stories

Legislation Passes To Protect Bay

Working to limit the dangers of dumping dredged material in Jamaica Bay, Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder announced that his legislation to prohibit the use of contaminated materials for the purposes of filling borrow pits in Jamaica Bay has passed the Assembly,

“This is simply a matter of keeping the bay and our families safe from the potential dangers that this type of dumping can bring,” Goldfeder said. “Jamaica Bay is an important natural and economic resource for our community that deserves to be protected. We already have federal guidelines keeping these materials out of our oceans and other federally regulated waters, why should the bay be any different.”

“The Jamaica Bay Ecowatchers applaud Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder’s efforts on creating this much needed legislation to protect Jamaica Bay from this imminent threat to place contaminated fill from the NYC harbor dredging project into our waters,” said Dan Mundy, vice president of the Jamaica Bay Ecowatchers, the local bay watchdog group. “He has moved quickly to introduce this legislation and worked to ensure it passed the Assembly in short order. The Jamaica Bay community looks forward to its passing the Senate and becoming law which will eliminate a 30 year battle we have fought to keep this outrageous proposal from destroying our bay!”

As of now, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) does not have guidelines for state waters, such as Jamaica Bay. The legislation, drafted by Goldfeder with help from the Jamaica Bay Ecowatcher group, would prohibit the DEC from issuing a permit allowing hazardous materials to be used in the filling of the Jamaica Bay pits.

“While I recognize that dredging is necessary in order to maintain safe navigation for boats in the area, that does not change the fact that we have a responsibility to protect our natural resources,” said Goldfeder. “We can’t forget that our community and our environment are top priorities in this matter. I want to thank the Mundy family [who] helped to draft this legislation that will ensure that the bay remains safe for generations to come.”

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