Fuschillo Legislation to Protect Nassau County Waterways Passed by Senate

Charles J. Fuschillo Jr.

January 24, 2012

Legislation Would Restore Nassau’s Authority to Prosecute Water Polluters

        Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. (R-Merrick) today announced that the New York State Senate has passed legislation he sponsors to help protect Nassau County’s waterways from pollution. The legislation (S5318) would restore Nassau County’s authority to bring enforcement actions against those who pollute its waterways.

        “Nassau County needs to have every available tool to help keep its waterways safe and clean. Enabling Nassau County to take action against polluters will help preserve our waterways for everyone who uses them,” said Senator Fuschillo. “With Nassau’s waterways being such a vital resource, the Assembly should join the Senate in approving this legislation.”

        State law allowed the Nassau County Commissioner of Health to bring enforcement actions against those who pollute any of the waterways located in Nassau County. Giving this authority to Nassau County afforded the County greater control in the protection of its own waterways, creating an additional level of enforcement against water polluters.

        The law also carried financial benefits for both Nassau County and New York State. Nassau was allowed to recoup any costs it incurs for the enforcement actions and receive half of any additional funds from fines levied against polluters, with the other half going to the State. However, the law granting the County this authority expired October 1, 2011.

        Senator Fuschillo’s legislation (S5318) would restore Nassau County’s authority through October 1, 2013, ensuring that the County could continue to prosecute those who pollute its waterways. The legislation was also passed by the Senate last May, but was never acted on by the Assembly.

        "I want to commend Senator Fuschillo for his sponsorship of this critical legislation," said Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano. "Armed with the ability to prosecute those who harm our precious bays and estuaries, my administration can continue to make strides in protecting our waterways for generations to come."

        The legislation has been sent to the Assembly for consideration.