DECEMBER 17, 2008

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Browning Funds Pollution Control in Yaphank Lakes

Storm Water Remediation Project to Upgrade Four Critical Drainage Locations on CR-21

Hauppauge, NY-Suffolk County Legislator Kate Browning (WF-Shirley) secured passage of legislation at Suffolk County’s December 16, 2008 legislative meeting to immediately hire a consultant to design a plan to end the uncontrolled runoff of storm water from County Road 21 that runs directly into Upper and Lower Yaphank Lakes. The untreated runoff is a significant factor in the degradation of these important recreational waters.

Due to the significant backlog of projects in the county’s Water Quality Improvement Division Engineering Unit, Legislator Browning decided that the only way to get this important project done in a timely manner was to hire a consultant. Her legislation provides $200,000 to hire that consultant to provide engineering and submit a design.

“We just released a request for proposal to hire a consultant for the removal of invasive species in the lakes, but it’s equally important to control the pollution as well,” said Legislator Browning. “These projects are coinciding with each other, and I am hopeful that by 2010 the lakes will be restored to their natural conditions, and the community will be able to enjoy the recreational activities they have been deprived of these past few years.”

Legislator Browning has been working with the Coalition to Save Yaphank Lakes, who informed her about the direct runoff from the road and into the lakes. Legislator Browning immediately contacted the Suffolk County Department of Environment and Energy, which prepared the application to the Water Quality Review Committee. The application was approved on September 25, 2008 and this resolution was needed to appropriate the funding.

There are approximately 1.4 miles of county-maintained roadway that discharge untreated stormwater into Upper and Lower Yaphank Lakes, including four direct discharges into the lakes.  The consultant that will be hired with the funds from Legislator Browning’s resolution will be responsible for the following services:

1.       Perform a detailed topographic survey and drainage system reconnaissance of the entire project area.

2.       Prepare design alternatives including information on flow rate, pollutants of concern, and construction cost vs. expected benefit.

3.       Select the desired alternative and move forward with preliminary design and obtain necessary permits.

4.       Prepare final construction plans, specifications, and estimate.

It is expected that an application for construction will begin submitted no later than April of 2010, although Legislator Browning is hopeful that construction can start sooner, given the urgency of the work. A resolution to appropriate funds for the construction of the project will be needed prior to conducting the final phase of the project.