After thousands of dead fish were found floating in Flushing Creek earlier this week, environmental advocates and elected officials want the city to change how it deals with sewage overflow.
City Council Member Peter Koo and others gathered on Friday to urge the city to call off future plans to add chlorine to the water in Flushing Bay. It comes after the fish turned up dead following heavy rains earlier in the week.
Activists say city sewers overflow during rainstorms, sending raw sewage into the waterways. The city plans on building a facility to chlorinate water to kill harmful bacteria, but those gathered Friday said that's not the answer.
“I'm urging the city to capture the sewage. Build a new sewage plant to treat the sewage rather than let the overflow come out every time it rains,” said Koo.
“So you capture it, you store it in storage tanks, in storage tunnels, so that the facility has the time to treat that sewage before it is put back out into the creek and into the bay,” added Chrissy Remein, the NYC Project Coordinator with environmental watchdog group, Riverkeeper.
In a statement, the city Department of Environmental Protection said, "Despite the fact that New York Harbor is cleaner today than it has been in more than a century, fish kills such as this are not uncommon as predator fish trap groups of smaller fish in shallow waters until they have exhausted the available oxygen. Reckless charges about the cause of the fish kill that are not based on fact or science do not advance the cause of cleaner waterways."