FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE98-50
December 1, 1998
Contact: Charles Sturcken, Cathy DelliCarpini 718-595-6600
Preferred Site for Proposed Croton Water Filtration Facilities Announced
Complying with the terms of the agreement reached last May between the United States, the State of New York and the City, and embodied in the consent decree in United States, et. al. vs. City of New York (EDNY), the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) announced today its selection of the Mosholu Golf Course site as the preferred site for the construction of the proposed Croton water filtration plant and related facilities. DEP reached its decision after analyzing the environmental, operational and financial impacts of each of the 17 project alternatives; 8 alternative sites for the plant's construction as well as sites for necessary related facilities.
DEP has selected the Mosholu Golf Course site as the preferred site because it offers the following specific benefits:
Other alternative sites were rejected because they either presented unacceptable operational risks or would result in significant neighborhood and environmental disruptions that could not be reasonably mitigated. Specifically, three of the Westchester alternatives (Mt. Pleasant Alternative C, Greenburgh Alternative C, and Yonkers) would rely on the transfer of all Croton system water into the Catskill/Delaware system, resulting in 100% reliance on the DEP's Hillview facilities for all supply to the City. The last Westchester site, at New Croton Reservoir Cove, has the highest costs and the most significant environmental impact. Further, all of the Westchester sites would require split facilities with significant construction in the Bronx for the plant's related facilities.
Other Bronx sites considered and rejected include Shandler Recreation Area, Croton Woods, and Jerome Park Reservoir. Construction at these sites would result in significant disruption to surrounding residents and schools, require removal of publicly-accessible ballfields and picnic areas during construction and the permanent loss of old growth forest.
With the filing today of an application with the Department of City Planning, the project will soon begin the Uniform Land Use Review Process (ULURP). The next milestone in terms of the consent decree is to begin preliminary design of all facilities by March, 1999. The agreement further requires that construction of the plant begin by September 2001 and be complete by September 2006.
The agreement to filter the City's Croton water system, which represents 10% of the City's average daily water needs and up to 30% during drought periods, stems from federal regulations requiring the filtration of all surface water (reservoir) drinking water supplies nationwide. The City sought and obtained a waiver of filtration for the much larger and less populated Catskill/Delaware water supply system. Although the Croton water supply currently meets all health related drinking water quality regulations, there is concern over its ability in the future to continue to meet ever more stringent regulations without filtration.