A bill passed unanimously by the City Council last week that would increase inspections and repairs to clogged catch basins is one step in fighting the problem of flooding in Queens, according to two borough councilmen.
The bill, introduced by Councilman Jumaane Williams (D-Brooklyn), would force the Department of Environmental Protection to inspect catch basins on a yearly basis rather than every three years. It would also require the DEP to report twice a year to the mayor and Council speaker about inspections, maintenance and repairs.
Councilman Rory Lancman (D-Fresh Meadows) said he fully supports the measure as another tool in preventing flooding. His district includes a part of Utopia Parkway that has a long history of severe floods due to heavy rainstorms and the topography.
In a telephone interview on Tuesday, Lancman said he had been surprised to learn that the DEP only inspects catch basins every three years.
“It should be every year and this bill does that,” he said.
He pointed out that the public can call 311 to report a clogged drain, but sometimes debris and sediment are underneath and can’t be seen.