Legislation

Councilwoman Kepert Moves Forward Approval to Allow the Installation of an Anaerobic Digester at Long Island Compost 

October 1st, 2015

Farmingville, NY- the Brookhaven Town Board meeting on October 1, 2015, the Board voted to approve a Public Hearing sponsored by Councilwoman Connie to authorize a special permit for the installation of a state-of-the-art anaerobic digester at the Long Island Compost facility on Horseblock Road in Yaphank. The project is moving forward after an agreement was reached in June of 2013 between Long Island Compost and the Brookhaven Community Coalition (BCC), a committee formed to address the odor, noise, and dust impact of the facility on the surrounding community.

As part of the agreement, Long Island Compost has agreed to build a $50 million enclosed anaerobic digester which will use microorganisms, such as bacteria, to convert food waste into renewable energy. Their digester will provide enough renewable energy to run the 62-acre facility and produce enough natural gas to power the company’s fleet of vehicles. The digester will be the first of its kind in the region to compost food waste and will revolutionize the operation of the facility, allowing for an 80% reduction in mulch on-site, which is the primary source of dust and odors.

“The installation of an anaerobic digester at Long Island Compost will significantly reduce the facility’s impact on surrounding neighborhoods while creating an efficient means of recycling food waste into renewable energy. This state-of-the-art technology will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 40,000 tons annually, which is the equivalent of taking 8,125 cars off the road. It is a win for the community, and a win for the environment,” said Councilwoman Connie Kepert. “I commend the BCC and the entire community for working tirelessly toward a solution to the noise, dust, and odor from the facility.”

Brookhaven Town Board Votes Unanimously in Support of Councilwoman Kepert’s Legislation to Require the Installation of Rain Sensors   October, 5, 2015

Farmingville, NY – On October 1, an amendment sponsored by Councilwoman Connie Kepert to require all new in-ground irrigation systems to have a rain sensor, was unanimously approved by the Brookhaven Town Board. Rain sensors are an important addition to a sprinkler system which detects when it rains and prevents the automatic sprinkler system from turning on.

“Rain sensors conserve water and prevent nutrients and fertilizers from washing away into the ground water,” stated Councilwoman Kepert.

When a plant is overwatered, the nutrients from the plant or turf wash away into the drainage system. Homeowners then have to compensate by adding additional fertilizer. “A simple rain sensor will help homeowners save money,” stated Kepert.

Rain sensors are small devices wired to the irrigation system controller and mounted in an open area where they are exposed to rainfall. When a specific amount of rainfall has occurred, the rain sensor will interrupt the system and prevent it from turning on until the sensor is dry.

The cost of a rain sensor is minimal and the sensor takes less than an hour to install. Rain sensors are currently required by law to be installed on all new lawn sprinkler systems in Florida, New Jersey, Minnesota, Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, and most parts of Texas.

Brookhaven Town Board Votes Unanimously in Support of Councilwoman Kepert’s Legislation to Require the Installation of Rain Sensors   October, 5, 2015

Farmingville, NY – On October 1, an amendment sponsored by Councilwoman Connie Kepert to require all new in-ground irrigation systems to have a rain sensor, was unanimously approved by the Brookhaven Town Board. Rain sensors are an important addition to a sprinkler system which detects when it rains and prevents the automatic sprinkler system from turning on.

“Rain sensors conserve water and prevent nutrients and fertilizers from washing away into the ground water,” stated Councilwoman Kepert.

When a plant is overwatered, the nutrients from the plant or turf wash away into the drainage system. Homeowners then have to compensate by adding additional fertilizer. “A simple rain sensor will help homeowners save money,” stated Kepert.

Rain sensors are small devices wired to the irrigation system controller and mounted in an open area where they are exposed to rainfall. When a specific amount of rainfall has occurred, the rain sensor will interrupt the system and prevent it from turning on until the sensor is dry.

The cost of a rain sensor is minimal and the sensor takes less than an hour to install. Rain sensors are currently required by law to be installed on all new lawn sprinkler systems in Florida, New Jersey, Minnesota, Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, and most parts of Texas.


Brookhaven is First in the Nation to Enact Legislation Requiring Digital Carbon Monoxide Detectors in Homes

September 11, 2014

Existing homes must comply with the new law by 2021

Farmingville, NY – At the September 9 Town Board meeting the Town Council voted unanimously to adopt a new law requiring all homes in the Town of Brookhaven to have digital carbon monoxide detectors installed. Existing homes have until August 2021 to comply. The local law, which is the first of its kind in the nation, is aimed to prevent illness or death due to carbon monoxide poisoning such as occurred on February 23 of this year at Legal Seafood in Huntington. That incident, which was caused by a malfunctioning water heater flue pipe, claimed the life of one person and caused dozens more to be taken to the hospital for treatment.


Councilwoman Kepert, said, "This legislation, which I was proud to sponsor, requires all homes to have at least one digital readout carbon monoxide detector. These detectors empower people to protect their families from a silent and deadly gas which is produced by any fuel-burning device, such as gas stoves, gas-powered furnaces, and portable generators. Persons with CO poisoning are often unaware that the symptoms they are experiencing, which include headache, nausea, dizziness, or confusion, are caused by carbon monoxide exposure. Steve Nelson, who eventually died of carbon monoxide exposure at Legal Seafood in Huntington, was sick for months, but was unaware of what was causing his symptoms. Unintentional CO exposure accounts for an estimated 15,000 emergency department visits and 500 deaths in the United States each year. Digital detectors in homes and businesses will help prevent needless tragedies"

Councilwoman Cartright said, "The Town of Brookhaven is actively implementing safety measures which will help increase the quality of life and wellbeing of our residents. With this law, we hope to significantly reduce, and hopefully eliminate, carbon monoxide related illnesses and deaths by increasing awareness of carbon monoxide levels."

Unlike standard carbon monoxide detectors, which only sound an alarm when dangerous levels are reached, the digital detectors indicate even the slightest level of carbon monoxide present in the home. Sustained low levels of the noxious gas can cause a number of ailments including shortness of breath, nausea and vomiting, dizziness and loss of consciousness.

"According to a review in the New England Journal of Medicine, people can become very sick from exposure to carbon monoxide at levels significantly lower than the levels that will trigger the audible alarm on a standard carbon monoxide detector. Symptoms that can be difficult for doctors to diagnose, include headaches, chronic fatigue, emotional distress, memory deficits, difficulty working and sleeping, vertigo, and recurrent infections. The most vulnerable to low level carbon monoxide poisoning include: newborns, pregnant women and their developing fetuses, people with coronary artery disease, and senior citizens,” said Neal Lewis, executive director of the Sustainability Institute at Molloy College. “The installation of carbon monoxide monitors with digital displays will empower Brookhaven residents with an important tool to protect their health from low-level carbon monoxide exposure and will help to identify problems with mechanical systems in the home before those problems become an emergency.”

“The Brookhaven town board illustrated their comment to public health by unanimously passing this resolution. The types of carbon monoxide detectors with digital displays would have help me when I became sick from a low level leak of carbon monoxide in my home which did not trigger the alarm on the standard detector that most homes have,” said Barbara LoMoriello, who spoke about her own experience with low level carbon monoxide exposure at the public hearing.