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EPA HAILS END OF OCEAN DUMPING OF SEWAGE SLUDGE BY NASSAU AND WESTCHESTER COUNTIES; LAST DUMPER, NEW YORK CITY, TO END JUNE 30

 EPA HAILS END OF OCEAN DUMPING OF SEWAGE SLUDGE BY NASSAU AND
 WESTCHESTER COUNTIES; LAST DUMPER, NEW YORK CITY, TO END JUNE 30
 NEW YORK, Dec. 17 /PRNewswire/ -- The U.S Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced the compliance with the requirement to end the dumping of sludge in the ocean by sewage treatment authorities in Nassau and Westchester Counties, N.Y. The end was required under court consent agreements negotiated by EPA, the State, and the dumpers under the federal Ocean Dumping Ban Act of 1988.
 EPA Regional Administrator Constantine Sidamon-Eristoff noted that "now only New York City remains as the last of the nine municipalities which have dumped sludge at sea in the recent past. New York City will have phased out 20 percent of its dumping by Dec. 31 as required by its consent agreement, and will end ocean dumping totally by June 30, 1992."
 "Bringing an end to ocean dumping of sludge has been a long, tough effort by our agency and other federal, state and local agencies, legislators, and environmentalists through years of negotiations, court cases, and enforcement actions. We are immensely pleased that the national commitment to protecting the environmental quality of the ocean is closer to its goal," Sidamon-Eristoff said.
 The two authorities ending are the Westchester County Department of Environmental Facilities whose last barge left its dock on Dec. 16 and the Nassau County Department of Public Works which shipped its last bargeload Dec. 17.
 The short-term alternative to ocean dumping for Nassau and Westchester is sludge dewatering and disposal at out-of-state landfills. Long-term plans for Nassau involve pelletization and use as a fertilizer by Dec. 31, 1994. Westchester's long range plan is under study; it is considering beneficial use for the dewatered sludge, such as a fertilizer or soil conditioner.
 The last six New Jersey ocean dumpers stopped by March 17, 1991. They were Bergen County Utilities Authority, Joint Meeting of Essex and Union Counties, Linden Roselle Sewerage Authority, Middlesex County Utilities Authority, Passaic Valley Sewerage Commissioners and Rahway Valley Sewerage Authority.
 Sewage sludge is dumped at a designated ocean site approximately 115 nautical miles east of Atlantic City, N.J. Previous ocean dumping of sludge at a site about 12 miles offshore ended in 1987. Earlier in the century, over a hundred municipalities used that site to dump sludge at sea. Consolidations and land-based alternatives reduced the number to nine. Almost ten million wet tons of sludge were dumped by the last nine sewage authorities in 1990.
 As early as 1973, EPA was requiring dumpers to investigate alternatives to ocean dumping; however, Federal Court rulings on cases brought by the dumpers in 1981 allowed dumping to continue. The Ocean Dumping Ban Act passed by Congress in 1988 set a deadline of Dec. 31, 1991.
 -0- 12/17/91
 /CONTACT: Herman Phillips of United States Environmental Protection Agency, 212-264-2515/ CO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ST: New York IN: SU:


TS-OS -- NY051 -- 2969 12/17/91 13:03 EST
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Date:Dec 17, 1991
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