New York Department Of Environmental Conservation Refuses To Comment On Toxic Tide . . . Because It Is Being Sued For Toxic Tide

250px-La-Jolla-Red-Tide.780There is an interesting story out of Southhampton, New York where a toxic tide of brown water has come in — killing fish and turning the ocean into a disgusting mix of dead fish and rust colored water. While people have raised questions about the water, it was the response of the state of New York that caught my eye: “The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation said it cannot comment on claims that it is not doing enough to protect Long Island waterways, because of a pending lawsuit.”

It is often the case that public officials use litigation as an excuse not to discuss matters that are embarrassing or damaging to their departments. There is often no such barrier posed by litigation, but the media tends to just accept the excuse.

This is one such case. It is preposterous to argue that the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation cannot answer questions about a tide of toxic water washing up on the shores because someone is suing them. They have a duty to explain how the tide originated and what they could have done to prevent it. They are, after all, a public health organization. The people of New York should not have to wait for the end of years of litigation for their own environmental people to address their concerns with the environment.

The tide is likely due to the failure to control the release of fertilizers and waste into the waterways. But the state is happily being sued so the people of New York will just have to wait to hear from their government on what could have been done.

22 thoughts on “New York Department Of Environmental Conservation Refuses To Comment On Toxic Tide . . . Because It Is Being Sued For Toxic Tide”

  1. Sounds like a “red tide” that we get here in Florida and those are announced as health alerts, because there are serious health effects such as severe burning of the eyes. If caused by algae, your water there in south Long Island is too warm. I can’t imagine an algae bloom in Shinnecock Bay unless there is excessive golf course fertilizer run off.

  2. Can’t they just light the water on fire and be done with it? Oh, the old days of the Cuyahoga River.

    So I guess in all seriousness it is proabably safe to say that nothing is being done to address the problem.

  3. a disgusting mix of dead fish and rust colored water

    aka new jersey

  4. The petty quibbling bureaucrats of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation on full display for all to see.

  5. A similiar thing here in SoFla where large releases of toxic fresh water from lake Okeechobee (much of the toxins are chemicals etc. from the cane fields…)into the St. lucie inlet has decimated the health of the inlet and caused fish kills, toxic algae blooms and entero-bacteria to take hold making the water unsafe to even touch. Now the politicians and other beasts are beginning to point fingers and blame …..

  6. @ nick spinelli
    Brown Tide is an alga, not the fecal coloform bacteria that close beaches (usually after a rain event). It’s not even harmful to humans.

  7. Perhaps I am being merely nostalgic but in the past it used to seem that government would at least try to be held accountable to the people it served. Today this seems not the case. Who else but this agency should the public rely on for information about this condition, yet the don’t want to say. However, there is a possibility that some more information, if not action, will be forthcoming. This is affecting the really wealthy folks in Southampton, one of Long Island’s wealthiest vacation spots. The beachfront property owners there are the people behind the people who run our government. This is their vacation time and I imagine they’re not happy.

  8. There is a DJ in Chicago, Garry Meier, who when they give the beach closings for Chicago beaches due to bacteria, calls them “fecal greaseball alerts.” It sounds like that’s what they have in Southampton.

  9. @ Brittius
    How would a broken pipe from Bergen Point be causing localized brown tide in Southampton?

  10. They do…. And how long did it take before the US acknowledged Area 51…. Just sayin…

  11. New York: Pirate Territory. But here is the problem, too many people are flying over and flushing and I don’t mean the town of Flushing.

  12. New York State, we are government, of the government, by the government, for the government.
    Of, For, and By the Corporations.
    Of, For, and By, the Rich.

    Woe is Us in NYS.and the US.

  13. Wonder if it all has anything to do with the broken underwater pipe from the Bergen Point Sewage Treatment Plant, in West Babylon, NY?
    I used to live 18 feet off of the Great South Bay and there are times when brown tide will come into the bay and canals. Also, I have seen massive raw sewage floating all around. Everyone was told not to worry, because the Blue Claw Crabs eat the waste and clean the waters. NYSDEC does a good job down there but nobody wants to address the broken pipe a mile or two out in the Atlantic Ocean.

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