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May 31, 2016

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Statement of Department of Environmental Protection Deputy Commissioner Paul Rush on Extension of Flexible Flow Management Program

“Over the past year, New York City has listened carefully to our neighbors who live and work along the Delaware River as they shared thoughts on enhancing ecological resources, protecting public safety, supporting the local economy, and other interests. While there has been progress and some consensus in these areas, the Decree Parties agreed this month to extend the existing Flexible Flow Management Program for another year. This will give all five parties time to negotiate complex issues while using sound science and data as a foundation for our discussions. New York City is disappointed that some near-term incremental changes could not be implemented, including a thermal relief protocol and a ramping program for directed releases. Still, the City believes that the Decree Parties can move toward a longer-lasting program that accounts for the needs of water suppliers, the environment, public safety and other interests. As we’ve pledged in the past, New York City will continue to keep an open mind to all proposals that do not affect the reliability of the nation’s largest municipal water supply.”

For more information about the Flexible Flow Management Program, please visit the Office of the Delaware River Master website by clicking here.

DEP manages New York City’s water supply, providing more than one billion gallons of high quality water each day to 9.5 million New Yorkers. This includes more than 70 upstate communities and institutions in Ulster, Orange, Putnam and Westchester counties who consume an average of 110 million total gallons of drinking water daily from New York City’s water supply system. This water comes from the Catskill, Delaware, and Croton watersheds that extend more than 125 miles from the City, and the system comprises 19 reservoirs, three controlled lakes, and numerous tunnels and aqueducts. DEP has nearly 6,000 employees, including almost 1,000 scientists, engineers, surveyors, watershed maintainers and other professionals in the upstate watershed. In addition to its $68 million payroll and $157 million in annual taxes paid in upstate counties, DEP has invested more than $1.7 billion in watershed protection programs—including partnership organizations such as the Catskill Watershed Corporation and the Watershed Agricultural Council—that support sustainable farming practices, environmentally sensitive economic development, and local economic opportunity. In addition, DEP has a robust capital program with over $14 billion in investments planned over the next 10 years that will create up to 3,000 construction-related jobs per year. For more information, visit, like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.

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