Cuomo announces funding for pipe upgrade at Bay Park Sewage Plant

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LONG BEACH -

Gov. Andrew Cuomo visited Long Island Sunday to announce a funding for an infrastructure initiative at the Bay Park Sewage Treatment Plant in East Rockaway.

The initiative will target how and where sewage from the plant flows into the ocean. 

Scott Bochner, who lives in Long Beach across from Reynolds Channel, says he and others have been trying to get it cleaned up for years. According to the state, 50 million gallons of sewage a day is emptied into the channel and the western bays. Bochner says the water quality is so bad that clamming, shellfish and marshlands have been destroyed.

As part of the new initiative, treated waste from the plant will be diverted through an abandoned aqueduct under Sunrise Highway. That pipe will be connected to an existing outflow pipe. The $354 million needed for the project will come from Nassau County, New York state and the federal government. 

Environmentalists say once the new system is up and running, it will take two to three years for the channel to clean itself out and hopefully return to what it once was.

“It will pretty much change the nature of all those bays and all of those communities -- no effluent. Just imagine the difference in the quality of life,” said Cuomo.

The plan is expected to take four to five years to complete.

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