Senate Passes Fuschillo Bill to Protect Waterways in Nassau County

Legislation Would Allow Nassau to Retain 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 allow Nassau County to retain the authority to bring enforcement actions against those who pollute its waterways.

            “Nassau County’s waterways are a vital resource which supports recreation and tourism. People come from all over to swim, fish, and boat in Nassau’s waterways. We need to make sure that Nassau has the tools to enforce the law and keep its waterways safe and clean. Enabling the County to continue to bring enforcement actions against water polluters will help keep our waterways safe for all who use them,” said Senator Fuschillo. 

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

 The law also carries financial benefits for both Nassau County and New York State. Nassau is allowed to recoup any costs it incurs for the enforcement actions and receives 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 is scheduled to expire on October 1st. 

            Senator Fuschillo’s legislation (S5318) would extend this authority beyond the October 1st deadline for another two years, ensuring that Nassau County could continue to prosecute those who pollute its waterways. 

            The legislation has been sent to the Assembly for consideration.