Long Island Nitrogen Action Plan (LINAP) News & Updates
Welcome to the first LINAP Quarterly newsletter!
This newsletter highlights the activities that our LINAP partners are engaged in to reduce nitrogen in Long Island’s surface and ground waters.
Newsletters will be sent quarterly with relevant updates on the advances being made throughout the planning and action phases. In between newsletters, bulletins with additional information about LINAP will also be sent to this mailing list.
This issue’s topics:
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
About the LINAP
LINAP will determine how best to reduce nitrogenloading to groundwater and surface water through technical, management, and regulatory/policy actions. Nitrogen is the leading cause of water quality deterioration in Long Island’s estuaries. It comes primarily from wastewater and fertilizer. Effluent from onsite wastewater disposal systems (cesspools and septic systems) reaches groundwater, which ultimately reaches our bays and estuaries. Excess nitrogen causes algal blooms that lead to low oxygen conditions, fish kills, and degraded wetlands and marine habitats. Nitrogen also contaminates the groundwater that becomes our drinking water.
In 2015, New York State appropriated $5 million to develop the LINAP. Long Island’s legislative delegation, with support from local environmental organizations, successfully championed funding for LINAP, which will be one of the most significant environmental initiatives since the preservation of the Pine Barrens.
A draft LINAP scope was prepared with stakeholder input and issued in June 2016. Many of the LINAP tasks listed in that scope are underway as part of the Early Action Track (12 to 18 months). The remaining tasks will be completed as part of the Full Term Track (36 to 48 months). LINAP will be developed through a broad partnership, which includes NYSDEC, the LIRPC, Suffolk and Nassau County, local governments, area scientists, numerous environmental organizations, non-governmental organizations and a cadre of consultant services. Also, the LINAP development process recognizes that there are many activities targeting mitigating nitrogen impacts on water quality currently underway. LINAP will not duplicate these ongoing efforts. Rather, it will work in parallel with these efforts with the goal of developing a robust nitrogen loading reduction plan for Long Island.
How is LINAP Managed?
A Project Management Team (PMT), made up of NYSDEC, LIRPC, and both counties, is responsible for administration and management, including: scope, budget, schedule, contract, consultant assessment and oversight, annual work plan, interagency agreements, coordination, outreach, reporting and implementation. The PMT established four Technical Workgroups of local, regional, and national experts to advise the team: Data Collection & Analysis, Technical & Engineering, Fertilizer Management, and Implementation.