Environmental Groups Applaud SUEZ NA-Nassau Partnership
In a dramatic turnaround, an association of Long Island environmental groups has awarded a B+ grade to a sewage treatment plant it graded as failing just three years ago. What changed? In 2015, private water company SUEZ NA took over operations, updated infrastructure, installed new technologies and established channels for direct public stakeholder input.
When the Western Bays Coalition last graded the facility three years ago, the Bay Park plant received an “F” score under municipal management. Between 2010 and 2014, the plant received 127 violations, rampant odor complaints, and provided no options for public oversight or input.
By comparison, this year the coalition praised SUEZ NA management of the plant with a B+ grade, citing its “new level of commitment, cleaner effluent, [and] … unprecedented stakeholder transparency.” In addition to addressing long-standing neglect and poor operation at the plant, SUEZ NA has saved Nassau County $12 million in its first year of operation, $2 million more than required under contract.
The grades are in and the result is clear – this public-private partnership has been a great deal for taxpayers, the community and the environment.