FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE01-29
Contact: Geoff Ryan
Welcomes EPA Proposal To Provide Relief From Designing Filtration Plant For
Catskill/Delaware Drinking Water
Commissioner Joel A. Miele Sr., P.E., of the New York City Department of
Environmental Protection (DEP) welcomed today the U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency's (EPA) proposal to relieve New York City of its obligation to complete
the final design of a drinking water filtration system for the Catskill/Delaware
watershed in upstate New York. Under the EPA proposal, DEP would be required
to adhere to a strict schedule for upgrading wastewater treatment plants in
the watershed, take other watershed protection measures, and design and build
a facility that would disinfect water from the Catskill/Delaware supply systems
with ultraviolet (UV) light.
"We are grateful that the EPA has come forth with this proposal,"
said Commissioner Miele. "The plan will provide additional measures of
protection for our drinking water, while saving money for the rate payers
who use that water. EPA's action is a vote of confidence in DEP's ongoing
watershed protection efforts in the Catskill/Delaware watershed and in the
1997 Watershed Memorandum of Agreement, which was signed by the EPA, New York
State, the City, watershed towns, villages and counties, and environmental
The cost of completing a design for a full-fledged drinking water filtration
plant would be approximately $160 million, and construction has been estimated
at anywhere from $4 billion to $8 billion. Whereas, the design and construction
of an UV plant is only about $150 million.
"It is likely," said Commissioner Miele, "that the design
for a filtration plant would sit on a shelf somewhere and be obsolete if and
when EPA ever determined that the City would have to build such a facility.
The UV plant and other protections provide more immediate assurances of continued
superior water quality for our consumers."
The EPA noted in its announcement of the proposal that, "New York
City is required to build a filtration plant for the Croton portion of its
drinking water system."