Multiple civic groups have formed an alliance aimed at fighting Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano’s proposal to privatize the county’s three sewage treatment facilities.
The newly formed Nassau County Coalition of Civic Associations (NCCCA) is hoping to mount pressure at halting the privatization proposal, which would involve selling or leasing the Bay Park Sewage Treatment Plant in East Rockaway (off Reynolds Channel), Cedar Creek Water Pollution Control Plant in Wantagh, and Glen Cove Sewage Plant to a private company. Mangano's plan is aimed at helping the county close a more than $300 million deficit.
The NCCCA was organized by Claudia Borecky, who serves as president of the North and Central Merrick Civic Association. Borecky said the coalition includes civic activists from Long Beach, Point Lookout, Island Park, Seaford, Wantagh, Bellmore, North Bellmore and Merrick.
“This coalition is seeking full disclosure of the county’s proposal including transparency and accountability at each step of the process as well as the establishment of a citizens’ advisory committee so that we as residents of the county and owners of the facilities have a voice in that decision,” Borecky said. “Our immediate goal is to stop the sale or long-term lease of our sewage treatment plants.”
In addition to trying to combat the sewage treatment privatization plan; Borecky said the NCCCA is also making an effort to improve environmental conditions at the three plants. She said Mangano recently met with two NCCCA members to discuss forming a citizens’ advisory committee related to the sewage treatment facilities.
Three companies responded to the county's request for proposal (RFP) process with interest in operating the sewage treatment system including England-based Severn Trent PLC; Paris-based Veolia Environment SA, which has its American headquarters in Lombard, Ill; and Harrington Park, N.J.-based United Water, Inc. Wall Street giant Morgan Stanley was hired by the county as a consultant during the RFP process, which has a March 31 deadline.
In December, Nassau County Legis. Dave Denenberg, D-Merrick, called on Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli to investigate the legality of Mangano’s privatization proposal.
Mangano spokesman Brian Nevin has previously stated, “the administration will only move forward with a public-private partnership for Nassau’s sewage treatment plants if it protects the environment and county taxpayers."