Gov. Cuomo has signed into law legislation that seeks to prevent toxic materials from being placed in Jamaica Bay to fill pits dredged for construction.
The law, sponsored by state Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder (D-Rockaway Park) and state Sen. Joe Addabbo Jr. (D-Howard Beach), was written in response to issues with filling borrow pits in Jamaica Bay — locations where soil was dredged to be used in other construction projects. The pits were later filled with material dredged from other projects, mostly from New York Harbor, but were not tested to make sure no toxic materials were in the soil. The new law would prohibit the Department of Environmental Protection from granting permits to fill the borrow pits unless the soil being placed there is tested for toxic substances.
But the law, which passed with little opposition, is only temporary and as of now will expire in 2017. Supporters say it is a good step forward.
“It’s basically an admission that there’s a problem with this stuff and it opens the door for more later,” Goldfeder said.