FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE98-10
April 13, 1998
Contact: Geoffrey Ryan (718/595-5371)
Noncomplying Regulated Activities in Watershed to be Registered with DEP
The Watershed Memorandum of Agreement and New York City's Watershed Rules and Regulations require that the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) publish a directory of commercial, industrial, institutional or governmental Noncomplying Regulated Activities (NRA) in the watershed. The Regulations also require that owners or operators of such activities notify DEP of the existence of the NRA. NRAs are described in the Regulations as "any regulated activity or existing activity which does not conform to the standards set forth in the Regulations, but has obtained all discretionary approvals necessary for construction and operation prior to the effective date of these Regulations" [May 1, 1997]. Whether or not an activity is listed in the Directory, DEP may require the owner or operator to cease operations or to implement a plan to meet the requirements of the Regulations if the activity causes contamination to or degradation of the water supply.
DEP Commissioner Joel A. Miele Sr., P.E., said, "Existing NRAs are considered to be 'grandfathered,' that is, except where otherwise specifically provided in the regulations, they will be allowed to continue provided they are not causing contamination or degradation of water bodies in the watershed. Because the Regulations require that DEP review and approve all applications to substantially alter or modify an NRA, it is to the advantage of owners and operators of these activities to advise DEP of their existence. Inclusion in the Directory will help DEP expedite a review of such proposals and can help to avoid enforcement actions."
Notification of DEP and publication of the Directory will proceed on an established schedule. In accordance with the Regulations, owners or operators of commercial, industrial, institutional or governmental NRAs must notify DEP of their existence by May 1, 1998. In June 1998, DEP will publish a draft Directory of NRAs. During the 60-day public comment period that follows the June publication of the draft Directory, additional activities can be reported to DEP and the public may submit comments on the Directory. DEP will review all the material submitted during the public comment period and publish a final version of the Directory in October. The Regulations also provide that within five years of the effective date of the Watershed Rules and Regulations (May 1, 1997), if an owner or operator of an NRA discovers that an activity should have been included in the Directory, but was not, it may be reported to DEP with a request for inclusion in an amended Directory.
Notifications of NRAs must include a description of the activity and its location, as well as the name, address and telephone number of the contact person. Owners of NRAs should send notifications to:
New York City Department of Environmental Protection
465 Columbus Avenue
Valhalla, New York 10595
Attention: James Benson, Supervisor
Project Management Group