Friday, May 12, 2006

Stormwater Runoff Controls Needed at Glenwood Landing Site

Heavy rains last night created a river of mud this morning that flowed onto Glenwood Road from a slope on the northwest corner of Glenwood and Kissam Lane, opposite the Glenwood Landing Post Office, where excavation in connection with a 7-lot subdivision is underway.

The mud will inevitably wash down Glenwood Road into Hempstead Harbor. According to the Hempstead Harbor Water Quality Improvement Plan, runoff from construction sites, roadways, and private yards is a significant source of silt build up and pollution in Hempstead Harbor. Experts agree that the problem is endemic in virtually all Long Island Sound waterways.

Effective measures are available

To address the issue, New York State has adopted regulations that require developers and/or owners to implement stormwater containment measures at all construction sites that disturb one or more acres of land. The Glenwood/Kissam subdivision involves more than two acres. Furthermore, a great deal of soil will have to be disturbed to accommodate the seven lots called for in the site plan.

The measures that can contain stormwater during the construction phase of this or any other project are generally relatively inexpensive and easy to implement, and they are known to be highly effective when properly executed.

This morning the Glenwood / Glen Head Civic Association contacted the Town of Oyster Bay (TOB) and the NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation about the apparent lack of stormwater runoff control at the Glenwood / Kissam site. This afternoon a TOB building official said that an inspector had visited the site and that the town will insist on adequate stormwater containment.

Learning from the recent past

Glenwood Landing recently experienced a similar runoff problem early in the construction phase of a home on a steep slope located on Scudders Lane near the Swan Club opposite Glenwood Road in Roslyn Harbor. The site is in the Town of North Hempstead (TNH) portion of the hamlet. Eventually, containment measures were implemented—but not until after a great deal of soil had escaped.

The Glenwood / Kissam project has been under review for about eight years. At hearings held by TOB and the Nassau County Planning Commission, the civic association presented photographs of the Scudders Lane project before stormwater controls were implemented to underscore the importance of stormwater containment when and if the Glenwood / Kissam project moved forward. We are now confident that the cooperation of all concerned parties will be forthcoming.

Home measures also important

To increase awareness of the importance of reducing all forms of stormwater runoff and the contaminants it carries, the civic association is cooperating with TOB and Nassau County to mark storm drains in Glenwood Landing and Glen Head with medallions bearing the message "No Dumping / Drains to Waterway." Literature about stormwater runoff also will be distributed.

Note that if you live in Glenwood Landing or "lower" Glen Head, the storm drains you see on your street eventually open into Hempstead Harbor—even if the harbor is nowhere to be seen from your home. Thus, chemicals from your garden, soap from washing your car, pet waste that is left on the ground, and so on can and do make their way into storm drains. These pollutants are then conveyed to the harbor through an extensive network of pipes and tunnels under your feet. Eventually these pipes and tunnels open into Hempstead Harbor. Therefore, it is important to reduce the pollutants that enter storm drains from all sources, including our gardens and driveways.

Watch for storm drain markers and literature in your area. Attaching the markers is fun and a good activity for children, although some degree of adult supervision is required depending on the age of the children. If you would like to mark the storm drains on your street, send a message to the civic association at

1 comment:

Federico said...