NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A state senator in Queens is calling on local officials to have more oversight of bathrooms after he said raw sewage has been leaking into the East River for years.

State Sen. Michael Gianaris found waste from bathrooms in Astoria Park had been dumping into the river. He sent a letter to the Department of Environmental Protection on Friday requesting the agency begin “an immediate and comprehensive” review of city waterways.

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“I guess back decades ago when the bathroom was constructed there wasn’t as much sensibility about the environment and they just let the sewage leak right into the East River, which is abutting the park,” Gianaris told 1010 WINS.

He said there are probably more bathrooms that have been around a long time that need to be “fixed immediately.”

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“It’s obviously not good. There’s a reason we don’t do that as a matter of course. Having bathroom sewage dumped into rivers.  We’re trying to clean our water ways and we’ve made some good progress on that over the last several years. But obviously that’s counter to that goal to just let bathroom waste fall right into the river,” he told 1010 WINS.

DEP staff said they monitor the harbor regularly looking for illicit charges and if one is found, the property owner is directed to correct it.

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