"In Rockland County. We have a slew of challenges in front of us, from a deficit of over $128 million to a proposed desalination plant that will change the water that we drink and the rates that we pay not just for the future, but for future generations as well," Carlucci said. "It’s important the next county executive has a solid plan to deal with these challenges, specifically the way we use our water.
"David Fried has come up with a plan to put a water district together to make sure multinational corporations aren’t the ones dictating the water that we drink. That instead, we have control over the water that we drink. We are concerned that we are having this desalination plant jammed down our throats by people that aren’t even going to be drinking the water."
Fried is running against Republican Ed Day for Rockland County Executive in the general election Nov 5.“David Carlucci is a long-time friend and colleague who has worked tirelessly for the residents of Rockland County," Fried said. "But he’s fiercely independent and does not give out endorsements to candidates merely because they share a political affiliation. That makes this endorsement something to be particularly proud of.”
United Water's proposed desalination plant is one area where Carlucci and Fried expressed strong agreement. Both pointed to more recent studies regarding the natural replenishment of Rockland County's water, the potential savings of conservation and the need to monitor the water diverted to New Jersey in their arguments that the desalination plant is not necessary.
"United Water has failed in its responsibility and duty to prove there was a necessity to approve this desalination project," Fried said. "It is not needed."
Fried has strongly opposed the plant throughout his campaign. Day has also questioned the need for the plant, but added that something must be done if it is clearly determined that Rockland County needs more water.
"I was very committed to coming out early on the issue of desalination," Fried said. "Thus far, I'm the only candidate for County Executive that has voiced a clear opposition to desalination."Fried's answer is the formation of a water district, which would represent the county to the Public Service Commission.
"What we need Is a county executive who will get out there, who will fight and who will have the authority to defend us against powerful interests like Suez United Water in France, all the way across the ocean making decisions that are critical to the people of Rockland County. That’s just not right.
"We have to have the legal standing. We have to have the tools in order to stand up to protect ourselves from these powerful outside interests."
Members oft he Sierra Club and the Rockland Water Coalition joined Carlucci in support of Fried Thursday.
“David Fried has taken a clear stand on a gamut of environmental concerns, including desalination, overdevelopment, and flooding," said Gale Pisha, Political Chair of the Rockland Sierra Club "But David has gone beyond simply opposing desalination, he is taking a proactive approach, with a proposal to get Rockland's water management under control, to ensure and affordable, safe, plentiful supply of water into the future.
“His plans for combining several water related agencies in county government under one roof and the creation of a water district will save the taxpayers money eliminating duplication, and will give the county standing to bring legal actions, such as intervention in rate cases.”
For video from Thursday's press conference, click here.