Monday, May 14, 2007

Where and When to Dump in the Sound

A new agreement on when and where sand, mud and silt dredged from harbors and channels will be dumped into Long Island Sound allows some dumping to continue but also requires that government agencies look for alternatives to dumping.

It's important because a lot of the dredged material is contaminated with heavy metals and other toxins, and if you dig it up from one place and dump it in another you've obviously spreading it around; and because when you dump huge quantities of material in the Sound you tend to smother whatever you dump it on.

On the other hand, to cease dumping would mean to cease dredging, and to cease dredging means the Sound's harbors would pretty much have to shut down.

And by the way, if you ever wonder about the value of newspapers, read this press release, which is a classic case of however government-speak gets in the way of clarity, and then read this Newsday story, which explains in a way we can all understand what the agreement means and why it's important. Newsday also has an editorial about the dredging issue, here.



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