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Letter To The Editor: United Water Project Fills Need for Water, New Jobs

Michael DiTullo, president of Rockland Economic Development Corporation, says project has many economic benefits.

To the Editor:

As the president of the Rockland Economic Development Corporation, I am compelled to respond to the recent news conference staged by a handful of activists who are against .

Because of my commitment to help create jobs in Rockland County, I feel obligated to outline some of the many economic benefits of the Haverstraw Water Supply Project that the activists believe are unimportant.

By now, most Rockland residents understand that the County needs more water for homes, businesses and firefighting and that the State of New York has required to develop a new long-term water supply. 

I have personally toured the and reviewed data that shows that the water quality is excellent. This project will not only provide the water we critically need, but it will create desperately needed jobs.  In fact, construction of the Haverstraw Water Supply Project will put hundreds of people to work. 

Construction workers rely on significant projects for their livelihoods. I take exception to the obstructionists who trivialize the fine men and women who have helped to build the critical infrastructure of New York State by calling their jobs “temporary.” This project will bring good-paying, skilled jobs that will put bread on the table, infuse additional money into the local economy and will help build the local tax base with a “clean” ratable that will not be a drain on limited municipal resources.

In addition, the 10 permanent jobs dismissed by the activists will employ highly-trained, certified plant operators who are charged with the great responsibility of ensuring the health and safety of our community. 

Like other counties in New York State and throughout the nation, Rockland County’s economy continues to suffer from the effects of the “great recession.” Still, there are positive signs that point to recovery. In order to retain and attract vital businesses in the new economy, strong infrastructure, including a resilient, reliable and cost-effective water supply will have to be in place.

Under the leadership of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, the departments of New York State government, local governments, economic development agencies such as the Rockland Economic Development Corporation, and the private sector are working hand in hand to create jobs and improve infrastructure so that New York, and places like Rockland County, are attractive places to work, live, and visit. 

The handful of activists who oppose projects like the Haverstraw Water Supply Project have the luxury to do so without having to back up their words with facts or to bear any responsibility for their reckless actions. Where will these individuals be if the time comes when the need for water outpaces United Water’s ability to produce water with existing infrastructure?

Governor Cuomo’s message that “New York is open for business” has been welcome news to the business community and to enlightened residents who recognize that in order to thrive as a state, you need a business climate that encourages investment and job creation. United Water first proposed the Haverstraw Water Supply Project in January 2007 and has since undertaken an incredibly transparent that included input and consultation with regulators and the public each step of the way. Its engineering analyses, financial calculations, and study results have been available for scrutiny by the professional staffs of government regulators and the public alike. I am confident that the highly-qualified professionals at the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, the New York State Department of Health and the Public Service Commission will ensure that this Project is needed, safe, reliable, and cost effective.

The time has come to approve and construct the Haverstraw Water Supply Project to create jobs, provide much needed tax revenues to struggling governments, and, most importantly, to meet the water supply needs of Rockland County residents and businesses.

Join the Rockland Economic Development Corporation in support of United Water’s Haverstraw Water Supply Project.  Call the Governor at 518.474.8390 and say “yes.”

Michael DiTullo

Michael DiTullo is the President of the Rockland Economic Development Corporation.

Issy July 09, 2012 at 10:45 AM
Yes, I attended a lecture on the USGS report and while it does paint a rosier picture than before it still indicates that our future water supply is still precarious. After evaluating the report and UW water release to NJ the PSC affirmed their 2007 mandate in 2010, so to say the mandate was based on bad information is incorrect. I am not sure what alternatives you think would be better and conform to the PSC's mandate, the plant is the cheapest and most sustainable of the three choices that meet the mandate. I have attended/read many professional lectures on our water supply all of which expresses various degrees of concern , so please understand, I am not siding with UW (I have no desire to pay more for water), I am siding with making sure Rockland has a sustainable future water supply.
RCF July 10, 2012 at 12:03 PM
The use of pesticides for algae control in reservoirs is debatable. There have been studies that indicate that applying too high a level of pesticide/algacide to kill the algae and weeds can result in a increased release of toxins to the water supply, thus counteracting the intended benefit. While pesticides and algacides have their purpose, there are alternatives as well as the better solution of limiting the source of these algae blooms such as from stormwater runoff that carries fertilizer/nutrients that cause algae growth. Finally, the conventional treatment process is set up to remove algae from surface water. At Lake Deforest the Dissolved Air Flotation treatment and disinfection are designed to remove the algae and associated toxins that Mr. Taggart was concerned with.
Rita J July 13, 2012 at 02:29 AM
Rockland has a water management problem, not a water quantity program. It is just not profitable for United Water to manage the supply properly. This is not brain surgery. We live in a valley.
Issy July 13, 2012 at 03:05 AM
Exactly and what happens when it does not rain in that valley?
John Taggart July 13, 2012 at 03:26 AM
We need to build that water plant and tie it directly to the Bowline power plant. Natural gas from west NY, electric power from Bowline and adjacent water plant on the Hudson. Thats a long term tax paying infrastructure to help keep Haverstraw and North Rockland in the black. We dont have a Pyramid mall.

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