As if Lake Ronkonkoma had not been mistreated enough, there is yet another looming crisis, thanks to a new law in Suffolk County. Starting at the beginning of 2018, merchants in Suffolk County are required to charge a 5 cent “sin tax” on take-away bags, both plastic and paper. Widespread opposition to the law has caused some individuals to take matters into their own hands, with disastrous consequences for Lake Ronkonkoma.

To understand what is happening, we must first examine the purpose of the law, which was designed to punish people for using disposable bags and encourage them to either bring their own bag or to use less diposable bags. According to Newsday, advocates “say the law will reduce plastic bag consumption and reduce the number of bags that end up in waterways.” But like most laws of the punitive variety, it appears this one has backfired.

Responding to local rumors, several members of The Committee To Drain Lake Ronkonkoma conducted surveillance of the lake over the course of several days. Sure enough, individuals were observed approaching the lake from different points, and then dumping bundles of disposable plastic bags into the lake.

One gentleman was approached by a Committee member and, once he realized he was not dealing with the police, was very forthcoming about what he was doing and why he was doing it. The dumping was a protest against the new law: “I’m all for clean waterways, but you don’t do it by being a bunch of Nazis,” said the gentleman, moved to the point of tears. “I’m not alone. We’ll clog this whole damned lake until they kill the law. President Trump should intervene.”

Faced with this kind of determination, the outcome seems clear. Government overreach will once again nurture and encourage the very behavior it is claiming to address. The law will be a failure, and Lake Ronkonkoma will be even filthier. Nobody wins.

A similar law set to go in force in New York City was recently repealed by the State Senate in Albany. All we can hope for is that they do the same for Suffolk County, smacking the hand of an out-of-control government and discouraging people from further polluting Lake Ronkonkoma.

Of course, one way to put a stop to this behavior immediately would be to drain Lake Ronkonkoma. That decisive step would put an end to anyone seeking to protest unjust laws by dumping things into the lake. THAT is how you clean waterways!