In 2015, New York State appropriated $5 million to develop 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.
LINAP will determine how best to reduce nitrogen loading 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 the bays and estuaries. Excess nitrogen causes toxic algal blooms that lead to low oxygen conditions, fish kills, and degraded wetlands and marine habitats. Nitrogen also contaminates the groundwater which is the sole source of Long Island’s drinking water.
A Project Management Team (PMT), made up of NYSDEC, LIRPC, and both counties, is responsible for LINAP administration and management, including: scope, budget, schedule, contract, consultant assessment and oversight, annual work plan, interagency agreements, coordination, outreach, reporting and implementation.
The LINAP Scope (PDF) includes project goals, planning structure, schedule and tasks. The final draft incorporated written comments (link to comment response doc) from stakeholders and input from five public meetings in 2015 and 2016.