The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has provided a response to a petition submitted by Kevin McAllister, the Peconic Baykeeper, last Monday.
In a statement, Lisa King, a spokeswoman for the DEC said, "The DEC takes both petitions and wastewater treatment issues very seriously, but cannot comment on any specifics of the petition as it was just received and will be undergoing thorough review before comment."
With that, she added, "The DEC does not have the empirical evidence to show what impacts on-site septic systems have on the nitrogen levels in the Peconic Bay."
The petition called on the DEC to either get in compliance with the federal Clean Water Act and create a comprehensive monitoring system for all waterways or face a lawsuit.
To reduce levels, McAllister believes that the DEC and the county must enact stricter standards for nitrogen effluence from sewage and require that the latest technology is used or the areas waterways will degrade further.
"They [waterways] won't support marine life and they will no longer be swimable. People will get sick. We are seeing signs of that now," said McAllister, referring to the early return of red tide.
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