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Evolution of Local Law 71

To address a growing number of concerns surrounding the health of the bay, James Gennaro, chairperson of the New York City Council Committee of Environmental Protection, led a series of hearings dating back to 2002, which resulted in the passing of legislation in 2005, Local Law 71.

The 1st hearing was held on November 8, 2002. Testimony was presented by Christopher Ward (DEP), Alexander Brash (DPR), Billy Garrett (NPS, Gateway National Recreation Area), Len Houston (USACE), Dan Mundy (JBE), Don Riepe (ALS), Ellen Hartig and Vivien Gornitz (Columbia University), Paul Mankiewicz (Gaia Institute), and Ronald Bourque (NYC Audubon Society). View transcript.

A 2nd hearing was held on October 21, 2004. Testimony was given by Chris Soller and Dave Avrin (Jamaica Bay Unit, Gateway National Recreation Area), Bill Tai (DPR), Jim Mueller and David Tweedy (DEP), Don Riepe (ALS), Arnold Gordon and Ellen Hartig (Columbia University), Paul Mankiewicz (Gaia Institute), Eugenia Flatow (SWCD), Brad Sewell (National Resources Defense Council), Jacob Kritzer (Environmental Defense), Bernard Blum (Friends of Rockaway, Inc.), and Maura Lout (New Yorkers for Parks). View transcript.

A 3rd hearing was held on March 31, 2005, however, this meeting focused on 2 bills and 1 resolution:

  1. Int. No. 565, in relation developing a watershed protection plan for the watershed/sewershed of Jamaica Bay;
  2. Int. No. 566, in relation to creating a temporary task force to study the feasibility of transferring city-owned wetlands to the jurisdiction of the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation;
  3. Res. No. 830, a resolution strongly urging the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation to immediately develop and implement a total maximum daily load for nitrogen pollution into Jamaica Bay in order to preserve and protect this New York City jewel possessing exceptional ecological diversity.

A 4th hearing was held on August 17, 2005, to vote on Int. No. 566-A, which was changed in light of testimony received at and information received subsequent to the March 31, 2005 hearing. View transcript.

On July 20, 2005, Mayor Michael Bloomberg signed Local Law 71.


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