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August 23, 2013


Adam Bosch  (845) 334-7868
Chris Gilbride  (718) 595-6600

Statement from Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Carter Strickland on the Release of Draft Revisions to the City's Filtration Avoidance Determination

“The proposed revisions to New York City’s Filtration Avoidance Determination, released today by the State Department of Health, are a continued endorsement of the award-winning programs we administer to protect the source of our high-quality, unfiltered drinking water in the Catskills. New York City received its first Filtration Avoidance Determination 20 years ago, and since then we have continued and expanded our work with local governments and nonprofit agencies that are integral to the ongoing success of the program.  Through these important partnerships, New York City has repaired streams that run through local communities, built and operated tertiary wastewater treatment plants, improved farm infrastructure, protected thousands of acres of open space, and closely monitored water quality in streams and reservoirs.”

“The Department of Environmental Protection has committed new funding for programs to address flood hazard mitigation in the aftermath of Tropical Storms Irene and Lee. These programs, along with others outlined in the Filtration Avoidance Determination, will help the Department maintain the safety and reliability of a robust water supply that serves 9 million New Yorkers every day, and they will also improve infrastructure to protect our neighbors across the Catskills.”

New York City has invested approximately $1.5 billion in watershed protection programs that include land acquisition, a variety of partnership programs targeted to address specific threats to water quality, and environmentally appropriate economic development programs in the Catskills. Those programs focus on source-water protection, based on the principle that it is more efficient and effective to protect drinking water at its source, in the watershed. The City’s watershed protection programs were recognized this year by the American Water Works Association, which honored DEP with its award for source-water protection. More information about the programs, including some itemized details about our watershed protection programs, can be found on the DEP website here.

DEP manages New York City’s water supply, providing more than one billion gallons of water each day to more than nine million residents, including eight million in New York City. The water is delivered from a watershed that extends more than 125 miles from the city, comprising 19 reservoirs and three controlled lakes. Approximately 7,000 miles of water mains, tunnels and aqueducts bring water to homes and businesses throughout the five boroughs, and 7,500 miles of sewer lines and 96 pump stations take wastewater to 14 in-city treatment plants. DEP has nearly 6,000 employees, including almost 1,000 in the upstate watershed. In addition, DEP has a robust capital program, with a planned $14 billion in investments over the next 10 years that will create up to 3,000 construction-related jobs per year. This capital program is responsible for critical projects like City Water Tunnel No. 3; the Staten Island Bluebelt program, an ecologically sound and cost-effective stormwater management system; the city’s Watershed Protection Program, which protects sensitive lands upstate near the city’s reservoirs in order to maintain their high water quality; and the installation of more than 820,000 Automated Meter Reading devices, which will allow customers to track their daily water use, more easily manage their accounts and be alerted to potential leaks on their properties. For more information, visit nyc.gov/dep, like us on Facebook at facebook.com/nycwater, or follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/nycwater.

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