Bellone to discuss water quality in live tele-conference tonight

JENNIFER GUSTAVSON FILE PHOTO | Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone.
JENNIFER GUSTAVSON FILE PHOTO | Steve Bellone has signed the 2014 county budget.

County Executive Steven Bellone will be hosting a live tele-conference tonight to discuss what he calls the region’s number one threat to public health and safety: nitrogen pollution of ground and surface waters.

The phone-in conference starts at 7 p.m., and is open to all county residents, giving callers the opportunity to ask Mr. Bellone questions directly regarding nitrogen pollution and water quality issues, according to a release from the executive’s office.

The tele-conference follows the release of the executive summary to the newly updated Suffolk County Comprehensive Water Resources Management Plan, which is expected to be released in full at a later date.

Prior to this, the most recent management plan was released in 1987.

Nitrogen pollution has reached critically high levels; impacting drinking water, recreational waterways and reducing wetlands, which act as the island’s last line of natural defense against storms like as Superstorm Sandy, according to findings outlined in the summary.

“There is no denying the harmful and destructive nature of this problem or the very real danger we, and future generations, face if we do not begin to take immediate and decisive action against this foe,” Mr. Bellone said in a release.

Residents can join the conversation by calling 1-877-229-8493 and entering code 112386 when prompted.

They can also visit Mr. Bellone’s facebook page, which will be updated throughout the conference.

Read the executive summary in full below.

Suffolk County Comprehensive Water Resources Management Plan: Executive Summary