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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE00-17

May 25, 2000

Contact: Geoff Ryan (718/595-5371)

Department of Environmental Protection Announces New York City's Enhanced Beach Program

New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Joel A. Miele Sr., P.E. today announced the start of this year's Enhanced Beach Protection Program (EBPP). The EBPP is designed to heighten monitoring of wastewater infrastructure near City beaches during summer months, minimizing chances of malfunctions that could cause beach closures. The EBPP supplements DEP's regular monitoring of harbor waters, which assesses the quality of open waters surrounding New York City year-round.

"We are very much aware of the importance of preventing beach closures during the summer recreational season," said Commissioner Miele. "We are proud that New York City's beaches have seen remarkable improvements over the last ten years. DEP's Enhanced Beach Protection Program supplements our already comprehensive monitoring efforts by increasing surveillance and preventative maintenance of wastewater collection facilities critical to the protection of City beaches." Commissioner Miele noted that, "As the beach going season commences, DEP is taking extra precautions to inspect and maintain these critical facilities to ensure the continued quality of the City's bathing waters and uninterrupted enjoyment of City beaches."

The EBPP was initiated in July 1997. Building upon the goals of the 1997 through 1999 programs, the EBPP 2000 will:

  • increase surveillance and preventative maintenance of sewage pumping stations and regulators;
  • perform shoreline surveillance of sewer outfalls; and
  • analyze wastewater treatment facilities and sewage bypasses that are common during wet weather when sewage flow exceeds storage volume or treatment capacity.

The goal of the EBPP is to minimize beach closures by shortening sewage bypass detection time, duration, and volume. The results of the 1999 EBPP show that the program successfully eliminated beach closures and significantly reduced the amount of sewage bypassed.

As in previous years, the EBPP 2000 will emphasize increased monitoring of facilities critical to reducing or eliminating dry-weather bypasses, and increased surveillance and monitoring of harbor waters by DEP's Marine Sciences unit. In addition, this year the EBPP 2000 is expected to improve upon the success of previous seasons. The Program will be in effect during the warm weather months, from May 26 through September 15.

In July, DEP expects to release its annual New York Harbor Water Quality Survey, a comprehensive report on the effectiveness of the City's water pollution control programs and their combined impact on water quality.

 

More Information

NYC Department of Environmental Protection
Public Affairs

59-17 Junction Boulevard
19th Floor
Flushing, NY 11373

(718) 595-6600