Assemblyman Philip Ramos (D-Central Islip) has written a letter to the Department of Environmental Conservation calling on them to disclose to the community when emission standards have been exceeded by local facilities, because of the potential health risks to residents.
In his letter to DEC Commissioner Erin Crotty, Ramos pointed out that the New York Power Authority has been fined $550,000 for repeatedly exceeding emissions limits in seven sites across Long Island and New York City, including the Brentwood facility located at the Pilgrim State Psychiatric Center. The facility exceeded acceptable levels of ammonia, carbon monoxide, and nitrous oxide.
"The families in my community have been put at risk for seven months now, and it was not until Newsday printed an article in its July 19 issue that this information was made public. If it wasnít for this article, we would still be in the dark about this health risk in our own backyard,"Ramos said.
Ramos has also called for the release of Department of Health studies that may have been conducted regarding the levels of poisons in the air as a result of the NYPAís negligence.
"We have a right to know if the air we breathe is contaminated. It is unacceptable that the NYPA is dumping poisons into our community and equally unacceptable for the DEC to keep these dangers a secret," Ramos said. "I urge the DEC to come clean now and disclose all of the information we need to keep our families safe."
Ramos added that the DEC fines paid by polluters should stay local. "Itís only fair that fines assessed to facilities in our community stay in our community to clean up environmental problems that put the public at risk."