Garbage and the bay

I’m hearing about a serious issue regarding storm drains, particularly in the West End. I thought our sewers have some sort of catch basin that collects the garbage? Can somebody shed some light on the following two comments?

Comment #1: From a person named Wanda who commented on this blog:

“MONDAY, APRIL 27TH, 2015 AT 11:10 PM
Many restaurants and bars “clean” up in the west end and on park by sweeping cigarette butts into the sewers followed by dumping their mop bleach buckets into them. All going into our bay. I’ve made complaints to the city. Walk by when they open on weekends and watch. Or just peek in the sewers outside some of the bars.
All bars in long beach should have multiple cigarette butt collectors. And in general long beach needs better and more garbage cans on the streets.
Comment #2: A reader who emailed me who’s responding to comment #1:
“The subject is serious.  EVERYTHING that goes into the storm drains ends up in the bay.  People in LB throw used motor oil, dog shit, french fryer grease, street sweepings,  and lots of other stuff into the drains.
Years ago the city of LB put a sign on every storm drain about this–mindless vandals mostly kids pried them off and they were never replaced.

 

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4 thoughts on “Garbage and the bay”

  1. All small municipalities (MS4s), including the City of Long Beach, are responsible for their storm water systems and are regulated by the EPA’s clean water act and storm water rule. This rule is in place to protect the waters of the United States.

    According to the MS4’s stormwater permit the only material allowed to enter and exit the storm water basins is rain runoff. Unless there is an additional SPDS permit for discharge. Some of those catch basins may have some sort of debris catch filter, but most do not.

    Ultimately the city of Long Beach is responsible for maintaining and monitoring its own storm water system and protecting the waters of the United States. I am unaware of how involved the city actually is in meeting its requirements. Many municipalities do not take the MS4 permit seriously as it is almost a self regulating system.

    If you know of a particular business or individual doing this polluting I would suggest giving a call to either the LBPD and Public works (Or whichever department deals with the MS4 stormwater permit)

    I have a feeling you may not get a satisfactory response from them.

    I would really suggest informing the Town of Hempstead Bay Constables (516) 801-5609. or the NYS DEC. Both have marine law enforcement agencies and actively pursue these kinds of complaints. The water (and garbage) that flows out of the storm water outfall pipes ultimately ends up in waters of the Town of Hempstead and New York State and then into federal waters.

  2. By the way if you do contact the City of Long Beach It may be good to remind them that they are mandated by FEDERAL LAW to do all that is “practicable” to prevent the materials you mentioned from entering waters of the United States.

    Anthony, those catch screens you mentioned are really just screens that catch loose debris. They do not prevent oils, chemicals, and dog waste you mentioned from getting into the bay and they are not installed in every catch basin.

  3. The bars in the west end are doing this you say? Well, you can forget about any enforcement against them by the City. Best bet is the NYS DEC.

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