By Paula Katinas
Echoing concerns raised at a meeting with DEP officials on Tuesday, Aug. 9, state Sen. Marty Golden called on the New York Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to consider conducting a full overhaul of sewers and water mains in the wake of the sinkhole eruptions that have taken place in Bay Ridge this summer.
At the emergency meeting called by Community Board 10, DEP Deputy Commissioner James Roberts told local residents that a study of the current infrastructure is being conducted and should be completed by the end of the year.
“I want to compliment the Department of Environmental Protection for its commitment to inspect the sewer lines over the next few months for potential problems,” Golden said.
While the formation of two sinkholes, on 92nd Street near Third Avenue and on 79th Street near Fifth Avenue, has garnered a great deal of the public’s attention, Golden said they aren’t the only situations the community is facing.
“With eight sinkholes in Bay Ridge since June 28 of this year, residents and elected officials are concerned over the state of our sewers. I believe it is time for a full overhaul and repair of the current infrastructure. We need the city to commit to a 21st-century repair and upgrade of the existing sewer system. Anything short of that leaves our city and community open to ongoing repairs that damage the current water system, block streets for lengthy repairs, and burden our quality of life,” Golden said.
Golden also called on DEP to ensure that the concerns of residents are taken into account and addressed as the repairs move forward.
“With an estimated two months left of work on 92nd Street, residents should expect that every effort is being made to have their concerns addressed. DEP has done an outstanding job so far, but residents have had to deal with the noise from generators, the smell lingering from Gravesend Bay to Shore Road, and ongoing issues of street closures and unclean streets,” he said.