Long Islanders are lucky. We enjoy the wonder of our open spaces, farms, vineyards, corn mazes, pumpkin patches, pastures, creeks, rivers, and the most incredible beaches in the world. But we live in a fragile ecosystem, and I am fearful of what Long Island will look like for our children and future generations if we do not recognize the signs of climate change, its impact on us, and our need to keep our water clean.
All future public policy must consider the potential impact of climate change to avoid the points of no return in the climate system. Since the most significant driver of global warming is the emission of gases produced by fossil fuel burning (coal, oil, and natural gas) for energy consumption, we must be particularly mindful of the regulations of these industries.
What I see as one of the biggest and most pressing challenges in keeping Long Island water clean is controlling nitrogen from entering it. We can do this by replacing polluting septic systems and cesspools with clean water technologies that remove pollutants from wastewater, keeping it out of our lakes, rivers, bays, harbors, and the water we drink. Although the American Rescue Plan helped Suffolk County defray these costs and allowed many homeowners and businesses to connect to sewer systems that treat nitrogen pollution, Congress will need to do more. As your representative, I will work tirelessly to secure the funding in any future infrastructure bill for clean water projects in Suffolk County. I will champion those policy changes we need to bring clean water and healthy coasts back to Long Island.
As we develop, implement, and enforce environmental laws, regulations, and policies, we must ensure that strict enforcement is done fairly and equitably among everyone regardless of race, color, national origin, or income. These stakeholders in Suffolk County must also have a voice and meaningful involvement in all policy decisions impacting their communities.
Environment & Economy
Suffolk county’s Tourism and Agriculture industries are the engines of our economy, and each depends on a thriving and healthy environment. By substantially expanding cleanup initiatives for the Long Island Sound and its beaches, putting in place better systems to monitor toxic waste facilities, landfills, and pesticides, our environmentally tied industries will continue to prosper. There is also a tremendous opportunity for economic growth by taking these bold actions in creating green, sustainable infrastructure. I am optimistic and confident in our future. I see our potential, and I see Long Island as innovators and changemakers in environmental protection.