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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE12-45

July 10, 2012

CONTACT:

Chris Gilbride / Ted Timbers (718) 595-6600

DEP Provides Update on Pepacton Reservoir Fuel Removal


The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) today provided the following update on the removal of fuel from an object buried beneath the Pepacton Reservoir:

  • As of July 8, DEP’s contractor — Moran Environmental Recovery — completed the removal of approximately 2500 gallons of diesel fuel from an object buried beneath the Pepacton Reservoir.  The 3-inch diameter pipe that initially led to the discovery of the leaking diesel fuel has now been plugged.
  • Late last week divers located an additional pipe protruding through the sediment in the same vicinity and put a temporary containment system in place.  On July 8th Moran’s divers tapped into this pipe and discovered what is believed to be gasoline.  The pipe was then plugged and secured and plans are now being updated and equipment mobilized to allow for the removal of gasoline.  The current plan is to begin the removal of gasoline on July 13th.  Once the gasoline is removed a determination will be made as to whether any further action is required.  Containment booms will be maintained in place as a precautionary measure.  The Pepacton’s water quality has been monitored regularly and the leaks pose no threat to public health.
  • Diversions from Pepacton Reservoir to Rondout Reservoir remain off line to ensure the safety of the divers.
  • Due to the extended time that the Pepacton diversion will remain off line, beginning today a greater portion of water will be released from the reservoir.  This change will ensure that the Delaware River flow requirements will continue to be met and at the same time maintain the overall balance of the water supply system.

Background

  • In May, during routine surveillance, DEP Police discovered a potential oil spill in the Reservoir and immediately dispatched staff to investigate.
  • During an exploratory underwater inspection divers found a 3-inch diameter pipe protruding through the sediment at the bottom of the reservoir.  Although capped, the pipe had several small holes which were allowing diesel fuel to escape.
  • A modified metal drum with a fitted valve and plug was placed over the top of the leaks as a temporary containment system.  Divers saw no visual evidence of oil outside the containment system.
  • State and Federal regulators are aware of the situation and DEP will continue to keep you informed.

DEP manages the city’s water supply, providing more than one billion gallons of water each day to more than nine million residents, including eight million in New York City, and residents of Ulster, Orange, Putnam and Westchester counties.  This water comes from the Catskill, Delaware, and Croton watersheds that extend more than 125 miles from the City, and the system comprises 19 reservoirs, three controlled lakes, and numerous tunnels and aqueducts. DEP employs nearly 6,000 employees, including more than 750 scientists, engineers, surveyors, watershed maintainers and others professionals in the upstate watershed.  In addition to its $49 million payroll and $132 million in annual taxes paid in upstate counties, DEP has invested more than $1.5 billion in watershed protection programs — including partnership organizations such as the Catskill Watershed Corporation and the Watershed Agricultural Council — that support sustainable farming practices, environmentally sensitive economic development, and local economic opportunity. In addition, DEP has a robust capital program with a planned $13.2 billion in investments over the next 10 years that creates up to 3,000 construction-related jobs per year. For more information, visit www.nyc.gov/dep, like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/nycwater, or follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/nycwater.

More Information

NYC Department of Environmental Protection
Public Affairs

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

(718) 595-6600