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Letter: Cedar Creek Lab Closing Raises Concerns for Nassau Residents

I believe the citizens of Nassau County should know that under the Suozzi Administration they elected to close down the Cedar Creek Process Control Lab in Seaford, which tests sewage and sludge daily for both Bay Park and Cedar Creek Sewage plants.

These plants are huge and help treat waste waters from three quarters of the county. The newer lab was built in the early ’90s, costing over $10 million with state-of-the-art design and equipment. It was run by certified directors and with accreditation from the NYS Health Department ELAP protocol. The Suozzi regulars were thinking to consolidate it with the Nassau County Health Department lab in Hempstead to save money.

Imagine six days a week of sewage samples sent from both plants on the south shore to a drinking water lab in downtown Hempstead. Then they spend $500,000 to renovate a room at the Hempstead lab to do all this sewage testing which, lacking funds, finally opened when five senior chemists retired. Understaffed to do the work, all testing is now done by a private Suffolk county lab whose lab results come in weeks late to the plant operators.

The sewage plants were built with labs on premise years ago so operations can run correctly. This could be one of the reasons sludge is spilling out into our bays now. I’ve been trying to explain the severity of this to the new administration since January, 2010. The Cedar Creek lab is still there, vacant, waiting over a year now for the decision to be made to reopen it.

Corrado Vasquez, Former Lab Director of Cedar Creek Lab,

Old Bethpage Resident