2014-02-07 / Top Stories

Goldfeder Urges Senate To Protect Jamaica Bay

Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder is urging the Senate to pass his bill that would protect Jamaica Bay from toxic dumping and limit the risk of water contamination. The legislation was already passed by State Assembly and is awaiting State Senate approval.

“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,” Goldfeder said in a press release. “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.”

There are no present New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) guidelines for state waters which include Jamaica Bay. The bill, if it passes, would keep the 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 are deep sections of the bay that resulted from past Army Corp. of Engineer dredging projects that removed sand from the bay floor to fill other areas.

"Assemblyman Goldfeder’s legislation will close a legislative loophole that has threatened Jamaica Bay for over 30 years," Dan Mundy Jr. of the Jamaica Bay Ecowatchers said. "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."

There is similar legislation that already prevents dumping in ocean waters, but none for the bay. Once the State Senate approves the legislation, it will have to be signed by the governor before it becomes law.

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