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Letter to Craig Fugate, Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency - Award Disaster Funding for Suffolk County to Make Needed Upgrades to Bergen Point Outfall Pipe


Location: Washington, DC

Dear Mr. Fugate,

We write in support of Suffolk County's application for funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) Hazard Mitigation Grant Program. This funding will help Suffolk County make much needed improvements to its wastewater infrastructure, specifically Bergen Point Sewage Treatment Plant (STP).

Bergen Point STP is Suffolk County's largest sewage treatment plant and serves 120,000 households throughout two townships. The plant's ocean outfall pipe is over thirty-thousand feet long and runs under the Great South Bay, New York State's largest shallow estuarine bay. This aging plant has been treating wastewater throughout Suffolk County since 1980. In recent years, the outfall pipe has shown substantial signs of deterioration, including hundreds of breaks in high-tension wires that keep the concrete surrounding the pipe intact. When enough of these wires break, the collapse of the pipe will be catastrophic. While the plant was not compromised during the tidal surges of Superstorm Sandy, as other plants in the region were, the outfall pipe is still extremely vulnerable to weather events. Should this outfall pipe fail, leak or worse, the potential damage to the South Shore Estuary Reserve and effects on homeowners would be very severe.

Under the Hazard Mitigation Program, Suffolk County will begin a major infrastructure overhaul that will address multiple vulnerabilities within the plant and outfall pipe. Although Suffolk County has continually worked to address their aging infrastructure, assistance with funding from FEMA's Hazard Mitigation Grant would greatly help address some of the most outstanding weather susceptibilities. This support will help critical infrastructure upgrades making the County and its residents more resilient to future storms and weather hazards.

We ask that you please give this application your full consideration. If you have any questions, or desire further information, please do not hesitate to contact our staff members.

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