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Coalition Formed to Combat Sewage Treatment Plant Privatization Plan

Organization hopes to thwart county executive's proposal to sell or lease treatment system.

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."

anonymous March 08, 2012 at 04:49 PM
Bill...from what I found online it seems as if Veolia's contract termination in Indy was down to the usual local political patronage and nothing to do with any environmental concerns. If the EPA, etc. do their jobs and maintain adequate oversight then it shouldn't matter who runs the water and sewer, right?
bill robbins March 08, 2012 at 06:21 PM
No, it matters ...the fees are what is going to bury the residents...profit hoaring companies will cut every corner.... And it will get turned back over to the county in worse shape when they took over....
anonymous March 08, 2012 at 06:34 PM
Right now, in Nassau County, taxes are burying the residents so our elected officials (both Dem and Repub) are expected to explore ways to control costs. EVERY business (including EVERY business in your retirement portfolio) is expected to constantly review ways to control costs. It's ridiculous that every time a cost saving measure is propsed (the NCPD as a most recent example) everyone gets hysterical. It's ridiculous.
michael March 08, 2012 at 11:16 PM
The privatization plan is just a quick fix to solve the county deficit. It sounds good in the short but in the long run will not give taxpayers any relief only grief. Us taxpayers are still gonna have to pay for the salaries, benefits and retirement pkgs for the private sector employees through our sewer rates (which will probably double or triple over the years). These facilities were neglected for years, once a private company takes over they are gonna upgrade these plants at the taxpayer expense all so they can make the profits. What we need to do is get some federal or state $$$$ so we can upgrade these plants and keep the revenue in the county which we so desperately need.
anonymous March 09, 2012 at 01:37 AM
We've paid a fortune in taxes to have our infrastructure ignored? And doing more of the same is going to make it better? In what alternate universe does that work?


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