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October 23, 2003

Contact: Ian Michaels (718) 595-6600

Department Of Environmental Protection Honored With The Association Of Metropolitan Water Agencies’ Gold Award

Commissioner Christopher O. Ward of the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) announced today that the DEP has received the Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies’ (AMWA) Gold Award for Competitive Achievement. The award was issued to eight municipal water utilities from around the country for their high-quality management practices.

“[DEP] engages in innovative, cost-saving measures that apply existing resources, technological advances and engineering ingenuity to address large-scale environmental concerns,” said the AMWA award announcement.

Specifically, the DEP was cited for creating planning teams that focused on capital planning, community outreach, metrics, human resources and customer service. The planning teams develop strategies to “improve efficiency and productivity throughout DEP,” said the AMWA.

DEP was also noted for engaging in “a number of innovative, cost-saving measures which apply existing resources, technological advances and engineering ingenuity to address large-scale environmental concerns, including a comprehensive filtration avoidance program for two major watersheds, a nitrogen reduction program for wastewater treatment plants and an ecologically preservative stormwater management system.”

Commissioner Ward said that the award was significant because it came from an organization of the DEP’s peers, which deal with similar issues every day and which understand the unique challenges faced by a water and sewer utility.

“The people who know the issues best know that New York City is at the forefront of innovative thinking,” said Commissioner Ward. “The AMWA has recognized the DEP for saving billions of dollars through ground-breaking watershed protection programs that have allowed us to avoid filtering 90 percent of our water supply, for our efforts to help clean up Long Island Sound by removing nitrogen from wastewater and for the way we’ve saved hundreds of millions of dollars in storm sewer construction costs and protected the natural environment with the Staten Island Bluebelt system. All New Yorkers benefit from the pioneering attitude that leads DEP employees to new and different solutions to complex problems.”

The AMWA agreed with Ward’s assessment. “Through comprehensive strategic planning and innovation, DEP continually improves its ability to deliver services to its nine million customers,” concluded the AMWA announcement.


More Information

NYC Department of Environmental Protection
Public Affairs

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

(718) 595-6600