EAST ROCKAWAY - A coalition of environmentalists have given the Bay Park Sewage Treatment Plant a much better grade this year after saying it operated below standards for decades.
Scott Bochner, a member of the coalition, says the plant was at one point "dumping untreated sewage into the channel" in East Rockaway.
They say that created elevated levels of nitrogen and other pollutants – a toxic cocktail that killed off fish and eroded the marshland.
SUEZ, a private sewage treatment company, took over and began rebuilding the plant last year.
Although the coalition gave the plant a B+ compared to last year's failing grade of F, some residents in the area say more needs to be done. Trisha Kearney says there are still odor and noise issues coming from the site.
SUEZ claims odors have been greatly reduced and says residents may smell odors only because of all the construction that is going on.
Environmentalists call the progress "a good start" and say their next push is for an ocean outflow pipe for the plant.