FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE04-49
Advocate’s Claim Questioned By DEP
The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) today responded
to Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum’s misrepresentation of statistics
on catch basin cleaning. The Public Advocate had claimed that yesterday’s
flooding was caused in part by a decrease in the number of catch
basins cleaned by the DEP.
“The Public Advocate has conveniently excluded the numbers
that would prove her theory wrong,” said DEP spokesman Ian
Michaels. “Her statistics begin in Fiscal Year 2002, and
she uses Fiscal Year 2002 as a baseline for comparison against
future years. However, she neglects to include earlier years.
“She also neglects to mention a very important fact – the
number of catch basin cleanings in Fiscal Year 2002 was artificially
high because the DEP had a program that year to install devices
in catch basins which would help capture street litter before it
reaches the Harbor.
“She’s taken a year when the DEP devoted extra resources
to improving catch basins and used that against the agency. But
when you look at it in a larger context she’s clearly wrong.
That is hardly a fair comparison or a judicious use of the facts.”
There are over 137,000 catch basins in New York City . The DEP’s
maintenance program ensures that every one of them is inspected
and, if necessary, cleaned at least once every three years. The
DEP also cleans catch basins in response to complaints or reports
of local flooding.
The number of catch basins cleaned per year for the last five
years is as follows:
|Fiscal Year 2000
|Fiscal Year 2001
|Fiscal Year 2002
|Fiscal Year 2003
|Fiscal Year 2004
(*** includes catch basins cleaned under special program to decrease
litter in NY Harbor)