Pump-out boat in Greenport back in service

Greenport Village administrator Paul Pallas said Tuesday that the village’s problematic pump-boat has been back in service since Saturday.

The pump-out boat, designed to collect waste from boats toilets so it doesn’t get flushed into the bay, was sidelined earlier this season due to engine trouble. Mayor George Hubbard Jr. has said that after the boat’s engine broke down in the spring, the village bought a new engine and had it back in service by July 1. But then the pump failed, leaving the boat nonfunctional again until this past weekend.

In an interview last week, Mr. Pallas said the village had ordered a new pump for the boat.

“Everything is new, so it should be working fine,” he said.

The lack of pump-out services had raised concerns about potential negative effects on waterways. Greenport Harbor, Sterling Creek and the Peconic Estuary are federal and state-designated no-discharge zones, where it’s illegal to dump waste from a boat into the water because of its impact on water quality.

Mike Osinski, owner of Widow’s Hole Oyster Company and a former village trustee, said in an interview last Wednesday that he also believes the village isn’t taking care of drainage at road ends near the water.

“That’s something we depend on for our livelihood,” he said of water quality protection. “They are under state mandate to take care of the road ends. Every road end that drains into either Widow’s Hole or Sterling Creek should have drainage.

“Not doing so is a violation of state policy,” Mr. Osinski continued. “Southold is doing it. Greenport refuses to.”

When asked for comment about stormwater runoff prevention, Mr. Pallas said, “We do have plans to install additional drainage at some point in the future. We are actively working on that process. Our goal is to have proper drainage anywhere that it’s needed.”

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