Monday, April 23, 2007

Renewal in the Sound (in the New York Times)

For those looking for a concise summary of the situation on Long Island Sound, you could do worse than the editorial the Times ran in the weekly sections yesterday. It includes a tiny bit of history, a summary of the problems and the symptoms, and a call for more government funding. As for nitrogen reduction, it says this.

The results, so far, have been impressive — a 25- to 30-percent reduction in nitrogen, roughly speaking, a figure that is sure to improve once an agreement struck last year between New York City and Albany to upgrade four plants along the East River kicks in. These plants produce nearly half the nitrogen that enters the Sound, and it is not stretching things to say that failure to live up to this agreement, which will cost the city at least $700 million, could ruin the entire effort.

Backsliding by the city would also gravely insult the local communities that, at considerable cost, have tried to reduce their own contribution to the problem. Norwalk and Stamford, Conn., have been particularly aggressive in upgrading their treatment plants. Westchester County, which was lagging, has become much more active.

(The truth is, we're still waiting to see Westchester's nitrogen reduction plan, but that's a minor point, I guess.)

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