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January 8, 2010


Michael Saucier/Mercedes Padilla (718) 595-6600

DEP Advances Stimulus-Funded Paerdegat Basin Restoration Project

Project Will Improve Water Quality, Create Ecology Park and Restore Jamaica Bay Wetlands

The New York City Department of Environmental Protection today announced the registration of a $15 million contract to restore 38 acres of wetlands and natural grasslands adjacent to the Paerdegat Basin Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) Facility located on the shores of Jamaica Bay in Brooklyn. The registration means that the contractor, Tully/Posillico Civil, can begin to mobilize so the stimulus-funded project can get underway.

“This investment will greatly improve the ecology of the Paerdegat Basin area,” said Environmental Protection Commissioner Cas Holloway. “When finished, the community will be able to enjoy a five-acre ‘Ecology Park’ teeming with native plant life. The combination of absorbing more stormwater and the creation of tidal wetlands will improve water quality in Paedergat Basin. This is just one part of DEP’s larger commitment to improving water quality and ecology in Jamaica Bay.”
The project will help absorb stormwater by reintroducing local plant life and restoring the shoreline. Five acres of parkland will become an “Ecology Park,” which will offer access to salt marshes and grassland area and include educational exhibits about coastal habitats. Construction is expected to begin this spring and completed in January 2012, with public access in 2013. The project is funded through Clean Water State Revolving Funds — a program administered the New York State Environmental Facilities Corporation — that were authorized under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

The restoration will complement the $357 million capital investment that DEP is making in building the Paerdegat Basin Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) abatement project, which will store 50 million gallons of CSOs during storms. When stormwater surges into sewers it can trigger CSOs when sewers and treatment plants reach capacity, which by design protects the sewer system and treatment plants. CSO tanks reduce this problem by storing flows until storms pass, allowing for release and treatment. The City continues to invest in major infrastructure projects that improve the wastewater treatment system and has budgeted $1.9 billion in capital improvements. The City is also taking steps to incorporate sustainable strategies that keep stormwater from reaching sewers in the first place.

DEP manages the City’s water supply, providing more than 1 billion gallons of water each day to more than 9 million residents, including 8 million in New York City, and residents of Ulster, Orange, Putnam and Westchester counties. New York City’s water is delivered from a watershed that extends more than 125 miles from the City, and is comprised of 19 reservoirs, and three controlled lakes. 6,600 miles of water mains, tunnels and aqueducts bring water to homes and businesses throughout the five boroughs, and 7,400 miles of sewer lines take wastewater to 14 in-City treatment plants. DEP also manages storm water throughout the City, and ensures that the City’s facilities comply with the Clean Water Act, and other federal, state and local rules and regulations. The DEP police protect the watershed and its facilities (including seven wastewater treatment plants), and the agency’s HAZ-MAT unit responds to hazardous materials emergencies and toxic site remediation.  The agency is also responsible for asbestos monitoring and removal, and enforcing the City’s air and noise codes.

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