Environment

Acid test: SBU-heavy task force tackles oceanic threat

By GREGORY ZELLER // Long Island is well-represented on a new state task force assigned to assess and address the health of coastal waters. Stony Brook University, in particular, will be lending significant scientific acumen to the 14-member Ocean Acidification Task Force, which was formed to study the ecological and economic impacts of acidification – increased levels of carbonic acid in the water, caused by dissolved carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, land-based nutrient runoff and…

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After ’embarrassing’ decision, a most hostile climate

By GREGORY ZELLER // President Donald Trump’s controversial decision to abandon the Paris climate accord has met with swift and punishing reactions from around the globe – with some of the sharpest vitriol spewing from Long Island and New York State. Environmentalist Adrienne Esposito, executive director of the Farmingdale-based Citizens Campaign for the Environment, said the president “made America into an international laughing stock as a fossil fool.” Attorney Heather Leibowitz, director of New York…


Testing, testing everywhere, to keep it safe to drink

By GREGORY ZELLER // Albany is diving deeper into Long Island’s groundwater plumes. Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Friday directed the state Department of Environmental Conservation to expedite containment of groundwater plumes in Nassau County, starting with an “immediate engineering investigation,” according to the governor’s office. The plumes were created through years of industrial solvents leaking into the groundwater at a Bethpage site once jointly occupied by the U.S. Navy and defense contractor Northrop Grumman. The…


Island wastewater work snags state support

More than $8 million in New York State Environmental Facilities Corp. grants and low-interest loans is flowing to two Long Island wastewater projects. The funds – made available through a combination of grant awards and zero- and low-interest loans provided by the EFC – are part of $40 million in wastewater support announced Thursday by the Facilities Corp.’s Board of Directors. The Town of North Hempstead received a package totaling $1.9 million – including a…


In water-quality protection, every drop counts

New York State officials aren’t the only ones with water quality on their mind. Even as Gov. Andrew Cuomo throws billions toward clean-water initiatives and related infrastructure improvements, a privately owned water utility servicing roughly 325,000 Nassau County customers is championing the cause on a slightly smaller scale, offering $10,000 in grants for “innovative, community-based environmental projects” targeting local watersheds and groundwater supplies. The competitive awards come through the Environmental Grant Program, an annual effort…


With new sinks and showers, SBU goes low-flow

By GREGORY ZELLER // In an earth-friendly effort of Seinfeldian proportions, Stony Brook University has gone low-flow. The university, in partnership with National Grid, has installed new aerators, shower heads and spray valves in several campus buildings, all designed to curtail water usage by 50 percent or more. But unlike the classic “Seinfeld” episode in which low-flow showers create a host of hairy conundrums for Jerry and the gang, the SBU upgrades are being hailed…