Wednesday, January 11, 2006

New York City Agrees to Reduce Nitrogen Inputs

New York City recently came to an agreement with New York State and Connecticut to significantly reduce nitrogen inputs by 2017. Nitrogen inputs have been correlated with poor water quality and the reduction of available oxygen for aquatic species. A major component of this plan will focus on minimizing the nitrogen inputs from City operated waste water treatment plants in places like Jamaica Bay and the East River. JB

After years of negotiations and litigation between New York, Connecticut and New York City, the city Tuesday agreed to greatly reduce the amount of nitrogen waste discharged into the East River and western Long Island Sound within 11 years.

The agreement stipulates the city will reduce the amount of nitrogen, which is responsible for depleted oxygen levels that have reduced marine life, from four sewage plants by 58.5 percent from 1996 levels by 2017. Ninety percent of the reduction is expected to be made by 2014.

"This is a monumental breakthrough," said David Miller, executive director of the environmental group Audubon New York. "The city is the major source of nitrogen in the western end of Long Island Sound, which is where the hypoxia is most prevalent. This is the single most significant action over the past 15 years to reduce nitrogen pollution into Long Island Sound."

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