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Proposed Amendments to the Rules for the Recreational Use of Water Supply Lands and Waters

The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is proposing to amend Title 15, Chapter 16 of the Rules of the City of New York (RCNY), the existing rules governing the recreational use of over 112, 000 acres of New York City water supply lands and waters (Existing Rules).

The Proposed Rules would govern permissible recreational uses of all water supply lands and waters owned by the City of New York. The regulated community would be all persons accessing City-owned water supply lands, lakes, and reservoirs located in Delaware, Sullivan, Greene, Schoharie, Ulster, Orange, Putnam, Dutchess, and Westchester counties, for purposes of recreation. The Proposed Rules continue to ensure that appropriate protections are in place to protect water quality and ensure security.

The purpose of these proposed rules is to expand year-round boating to the Kensico and New Croton Reservoirs, change the definition of “Group” to fill an inadvertent gap between the number of people an Access Permit holder may sponsor as guests and the number of people necessary to require a Group Access permit, prohibit certain fishing equipment due to the threat of invasive species, indicate the maximum amount that can be charged to retrieve a boat that has been removed from the water, stored by DEP and eventually becomes the property of DEP if not claimed before 90 days, limit boaters’ abilities to change Boat Storage Areas to facilitate DEP’s management of Boat Storage Areas, enable all recreational boaters to use steam cleaning facilities other than those belonging to DEP, and include an Access Permit penalty schedule.

The proposed rules are derived from historical recreational uses of the lands that are recognized in the New York City Watershed Memorandum of Agreement dated January 21, 1997. The City does not assume any liability for the recreational use by thpublic of its lands and waters beyond that provided in General Obligation Law §9-103.

The proposed action requires promulgation pursuant to authority granted to the  Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Protection as set forth in sections 24-308, 24-309, 24-310, 24-332, 24-334, 24-337, 24-342, and 24-346 of the Administrative Code of the City of New York. The proposed action also requires approval according to the City Administrative Procedure Act (CAPA). No State or Federal approvals are required to implement the proposed action.

If you have any questions regarding the environmental review please contact Mark N. Page, Jr. at the below address, otherwise please contact Melissa Siegel.

Mark N. Page, Jr.
Director, Water Supply Dependability and Infrastructure Assessment
New York City Department of Environmental Protection
Bureau of Environmental Planning and Analysis
59-17 Junction Blvd, 11th Floor
Flushing, New York 11373

Melissa Siegel,
New York City Department of Environmental Protection
Bureau of Legal Affairs
59-17 Junction Blvd, 19th Floor
Flushing, New York 11373


Reservoir Levels

Current: 95.6%

Normal: 87.0%