A Supplemental Socio-Environmental Decision Tool: Value Conflicts on Long Island

Kevin John Phillips

DOI: 10.2190/9YUY-8BPY-AT10-H4FM


In the portion excluding New York City, Long Island's water supply depends entirely on subsurface water. Originally an excellent source of water supply, now through the historic discharge of sewage through hundreds of thousands of cesspools and septic tanks, its quality is in jeopardy. The problem has been identified and an initial plan of sewering is being implemented. From this plan, the following environmental impacts are expected; decreasing water table elevations, water supply depletion, decreasing stream flows, increasing bay salinity, decreasing nutrients into the bays, increased encroachment of the saline wedges under the north and south shores, destruction of estuary marsh land, aesthetic, and primary productivity effects, in the bays and at the ocean outfall. All the environmental effects are discussed from a value conflict position. Such identification of value conflict can be used as a supplemental tool and is an excellent procedure for large scale environmental projects to be successfully developed without mass citizen protest.

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