Goldfeder, Addabbo Keep Toxic Materials Out of Jamaica Bay

August 18, 2014

Legislation Drafted by Senator Addabbo and Assemblyman Goldfeder to Protect Jamaica Bay From Toxic Dumping Becomes Law; Governor Signs Legislation to Preserve Jamaica Bay

State Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr. and Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder proudly announced that Governor Andrew Cuomo signed their legislation (A.2074A/S.3392A) to prevent state regulatory agencies from issuing permits to allow dumping hazardous materials into Jamaica Bay’s borrow pits, ultimately limiting the risk of water contamination.

“This legislation is a huge victory for our families in Broad Channel and every community surrounding Jamaica Bay,”said Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder. “This law will not only protect the waters of Jamaica Bay from hazardous dumping, but also ensures that thousands of endangered bird species and wildlife remain safe. Jamaica Bay is not only an environmental resource but has become an economic engine in southern Queens. I am thankful for the partnership with Senator Addabbo and the support Governor Cuomo to help preserve Jamaica Bay.”

“Communities surrounding Jamaica Bay can now breathe a little easier with the passing of this bill, both figuratively and literally. In the Legislature, we fought for this because our backyards and the beautiful bay waters are not a dumping ground for hazardous waste. Life in the water, on the water and around the water must be preserved,” said Senator Addabbo. "In the district, we were all fortunate enough to grow up with Jamaica Bay and I hope this legislation will ensure future generations can enjoy the serenity and beauty for years to come. I appreciate the persistent efforts of my colleague, Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder and thank the Governor for his support."

Prior to the elected official’s legislation, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) did not have any guidelines for state waters, including Jamaica Bay. This new law will prohibit DEC from issuing permits that would allow hazardous materials from being dumped into the borrow pits of Jamaica Bay and contaminating the surrounding waters. Borrow pits include a number of locations throughout the bay that have an increased depth as a result of past Army Corp. of Engineer dredging projects that have removed sand from the bay floor to fill in adjacent areas.

"Assemblyman Goldfeder and Senator Addabbo's legislation will close a legislative loophole that has threatened Jamaica Bay for over thirty years," said Dan Mundy Jr. of the Jamaica Bay Ecowatchers. "The current regulation that allows contaminated fill to be placed in the waters of the bay has attracted numerous ill-conceived plans that are possibly driven by huge potential financial benefits to a few, while potentially destroying the bay forever! This legislation will end these plans and the threats they pose for good! Assemblyman Goldfeder has been at the leading edge in advocating for the protection and preservation of Jamaica Bay in order to ensure this treasured resource can be enjoyed by future generations."

“We commend Governor Cuomo for signing this legislation into law,” concluded Addabbo, Goldfeder. “Dredged materials leaching with toxins have no right to be dumped in our waters and now we finally have the laws in place to keep our families away from harm and preserve the natural ecosystem of Jamaica Bay for years to come.”