Dismantling an Historical Problem

By Joseph Graziose and Katrina Lundstead
ST Environmental Services, Inc.

“Mayor Thomas Suozzi is an environmental hero,” said Attorney for the New York Public Interest Research Group, Larry Shapiro, upon the successful completion of negotiations to permanently close the City of Glen Cove incinerator.
Situated on the northern coast of Long Island, the City of Glen Cove has been home to families and industries for over 300 years. Over the course of the years, environmental concerns, vacant land and abandoned buildings have had a negative impact on the area surrounding Glen Cove Creek as well as an impact on Glen Cove's economy.
With a vision to return the waterfront to a regional tourist destination and stimulate the city's economy, Mayor Suozzi and the Community Development Agency are working with federal and state agencies, Glen Cove's citizens and the private sector in an effort to revitalize the area surrounding Glen Cove Creek. It is in the middle of this area where STES manages the wastewater treatment plant for the city, the same area that Mayor Suozzi plans on making the Newport, Rhode Island of Long Island.
Prior to Mayor Suozzi taking office in 1993, the City of Glen Cove had entered into an agreement to retrofit, manage and operate the incinerator and adjoining s MGD wastewater treatment plant. ST Environmental Services (STES), the majority shareholder in a joint venture with island Recycling (IREC), qualified in a bid process which led to the successful negotiations for the 20 year operations and management agreement with the City of Glen Cove.
Working with the Glen Cove Industrial Development Agency as the conduit for capital investment, STES invested over $15 million in capital improvements to the incinerator as well as over $3 million in capital improvements to the wastewater treatment plant. The initial capital investments at the wastewater treatment plant included modern sludge handling equipment, stand-by power generators and the installation of plant automation. The construction of a dedicated building for the installation of a new belt press with an odor control system helped to significantly reduce sludge disposal costs and control the odor problem that had historically plagued nearby residents.
So in 1993, when the mayor promised to permanently close the incinerator, the City of Glen Cove and STES began working together to negotiate a solution.
As part of the public-private partnership, the City of Glen Cove and STES reached an agreement to cease the construction, and proposed operations of the incinerator, but included the continuation of the STES full service contract to operate the city's wastewater treatment plant.
“If it were not for the ultimate professionalism exhibited by STES throughout negotiations and as evidenced by their top notch management of the wastewater treatment plant we could not have accomplished this essential step to the revitalization of Glen Cove,” said Mayor Suozzi.
Again, the strong partnership between STES and the City of Glen Cove proved beneficial to the waterfront revitalization plans when on January 14, 1996 STES funded the removal of the 200 foot incinerator smokestack.
Said STES Senior Vice President Joseph Graziose, “the dismantling of this stack is symbolic of the City of Glen Cove's commitment to beautifying the waterfront and STES’s commitment to the success of public-private partnership.”
It is estimated that of Glen Cove's 30,000 population, 10% of the workforce is employed by local industry in the city. From supporting the employees at the wastewater plant itself, STES has an extended commitment to the employees of the local industries. One-third of the flow to the wastewater treatment plant that STES treats before discharging to Glen Cove Creek comes from the local industry. STES, a part of Severn Trent Plc. — an international water and wastewater provider, is able to bring worldwide expertise and knowledge to local industry on behalf of the city to improve initial industrial treatment processes.
“As an industry located in one of the sector's outlined in the revitalization plan for the Glen Cove Creek, STES has played and will continue to play an important role. Our goal to stimulate private sector involvement is one to which STES has responded positively,” said Mayor Suozzi.
The mayor is utilizing STES' expertise and resources to further investigate ways of bringing benefits to the Glen Cove community.