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Suffolk County Executive Ed Romaine Signs Historic Water Preservation Bill, Voters Will Now Decide


HAUPPAUGE, NY—Suffolk County Executive Ed Romaine today was joined by Presiding Officer Kevin McCaffrey, NYS Assemblyman Fred Thiele, members of the legislature, and environmental and labor leaders as he signed the historic Water Protection Bill that plans to fund critical wastewater infrastructure and projects for generations.

“The success of this bill is the result of years of partnership and a unified mission to protect Suffolk County now, and into the future,” said County Executive Ed Romaine. “I thank Presiding Officer McCaffrey and the legislature, Assemblyman Thiele, Senator Monica Martinez, the state delegation who supported this significant measure and all of the people who never gave up hope, worked together, and made this dream a reality.”

The bill will now be on the ballot this November, giving voters the ability to voice their support for the initiative that will provide funding for both sewer projects and Innovative and Alternative On-Site Wastewater Treatment Systems (I/A Systems).

“It was an arduous journey to get us here today. I am proud of my colleagues who stuck it out and believed we could reach a compromise on the right funding formula to protect Suffolk’s water quality for decades to come,” said Presiding Officer Kevin J. McCaffrey.  “After many months of hard work by stakeholders including Assemblyman Fred Thiele, the voters will now be able to add their approval.  Voters have consistently supported clean water initiatives and open space preservation and we expect they will overwhelmingly see this as a small price to pay for generations of water quality.”

“The Nature Conservancy commends Suffolk County Executive Ed Romaine for his swift approval of the Water Quality Restoration Act, the final step in putting a landmark clean water measure before voters this November. If approved, the Water Quality Restoration Act will drastically reduce pollution and restore our bays and harbors by making critical infrastructure improvements not only possible, but affordable to residents and businesses. We thank state and local leaders for their dedication to bringing clean water back to Suffolk County,” said Kevin McDonald, Long Island Policy Advisor for The Nature Conservancy.

“The Suffolk County Water Quality Restoration Act is a crucial step towards ensuring the health and sustainability of our local waterways, which are vital for the well-being of our communities and the economic vitality of our region,” said Marc Herbst, Executive Director of the Long Island Contractor’s Association. “I want to thank County Executive Romaine for his unwavering commitment to improving our water quality and championing initiatives that protect our natural resources. Come November, voters will now have the chance to fund long overdue wastewater upgrades, ensuring cleaner water and a sustainable environment for future generations.”

“We are at a pivotal juncture in Suffolk County history, where the public will decide if we finally act responsibly and treat our sewage or we continue to allow untreated sewage to pollute our drinking water, lakes, bays, and harbors. The future of clean water is now in the hands of Suffolk voters and will be decided on November 5th,” said Adrienne Esposito, Executive Director of Citizens Campaign for the Environment. “The next several months will require a rigorous public education effort about this referendum. The public must know this referendum is a bipartisan clean water plan based on over ten years of scientific study, collaboration, and effort.  We are grateful for the support and effort put forth by Suffolk County Executive Romaine and the Suffolk County Presiding Officer Kevin McCarthy in ensuring this bill passes the local and state legislature. We are now on the path to a cleaner, safer, healthier future!”  

“We thank Ed Romaine for signing the Suffolk County Water Quality Restoration Act (SCWQRA). It is a vital step to improve our region’s water quality,” John R. Durso, President of the Long Island Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO, and Ryan Stanton, Executive Director of the Long Island Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO. “With the signing of this bill, Long Island is one step closer to guaranteeing the availability of clean drinking water and maintaining the viability of our coastlines while creating thousands of union jobs with family-sustaining wages in the process.”

"Today is a great day for the people of Suffolk County. After decades of enduring nitrogen-polluted ground and surface waters and with so many homes in need of a septic system replacement or a transition to sewers, voters will finally have the chance to address this public health crisis once and for all. We applaud Presiding Officer Kevin McCaffrey and the Suffolk County Legislature and we salute Suffolk County Executive Ed Romaine not only for signing the Suffolk County Water Quality Restoration Act, but for his unwavering leadership and for lighting the fire – as only he can – under this critical measure,” said Julie Tighe, President of the New York League of Conservation Voters.


Categories: County Executive


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