FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE99-09
March 9, 1999
Contact: Geoffrey Ryan (DEP) (718/595-5371),
Colleen McKenna (DOT) (914/431-5779)
New Signs In The New York City Watershed
Commissioner Joel A. Miele Sr., P.E., of the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and Commissioner Joseph H. Boardman of the New York State Department of Transportation (DOT) announced today that the two agencies are cooperating on a project to install signs along major roads in the watersheds of the City's upstate reservoirs. Each sign will be placed at a watershed entry point and will indicate that for the next specified number
of miles people will be traveling within a public water supply area. The signs will also ask that people report polluters to DEP's 24-hour hotline at 1-888-337-6921.
|Similar signs will be posted on major roads in the eight counties that contain portions of the watersheds of New York City's upstate reservoirs. The signs will increase awareness of the importance and extensive size of the watershed and will discourage pollution of its streams and reservoirs. The project has been a cooperative effort of the New York City Department of Environmental Protection the New York State Department of Transportation.|
Commissioner Miele said, "These signs will increase awareness of the importance and extensive size of the watershed area and also will help to protect the reservoirs and streams of the watershed from pollution. We are grateful to Commissioner Boardman and the State Department of Transportation for their cooperation in bringing this project to fruition, particularly to the staff of DOT Region 8 where 44 of the 57 signs will be located. I also want to thank the New York State Thruway Authority for installation of two signs on Route I-84."
"Under the Department's recently implemented environmental initiative, we are playing an active role in Governor Pataki's efforts to enhance the State's environment," State Department of Transportation Commissioner Joseph H. Boardman said. "DOT is pleased to join with DEP to install these water supply signs to help protect this important resource."
In the West-of-Hudson watersheds, the longest east-to-west stretch is 66 miles along Route 28 from Hurley in Ulster County to Meredith in Delaware County; the longest north-to-south run is 62 miles along Route 10 from Jefferson in Schoharie County to Deposit in Delaware County. In the East-of-Hudson watershed, the longest stretch along a single highway is 28 miles on Route 22 between Bedford in Westchester County and Pawling in Dutchess County.
The signs, which have white lettering on a blue background, were fabricated by the New York City Department of Transportation in accordance with specifications established by the State DOT.
DEP asks that people report any of the following conditions anywhere within the watershed to the 24-hour hotline:
- Failing septic or other wastewater treatment systems,
- Illegal dumping,
- Illegal discharges of petroleum products and other hazardous materials,
- Accidental spills and leaks of petroleum, hazardous materials, sewage, etc.
- Highway accidents, especially those involving trucks, vans and tankers,
- Discolored or foamy water in any stream, wetland, pond or reservoir, and
- Unusual odors from petroleum, sewage or other sources.
Reportable conditions at City-owned lands and reservoirs include:
- Boats, other than DEP-permitted rowboats,
- Floating objects,
- Tree cutting and vandalism,
- Vehicles such as motorcycles, ATVs and snowmobiles,
- Swimmers, hunters and other trespassers.
Complainants should be prepared to give the following information:
- Description of the condition or incident,
- The location of the problem, as precisely as possible,
- The name of the town and county involved, and
- The time and date when the condition was first discovered.
Commissioner Miele said that, "All reports will be investigated by DEP personnel. We greatly appreciate any help people can give DEP to keep the waters of the watershed free from pollution."