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July 14, 1997

Contact: Geoffrey Ryan (718/595-5371)

DEP Announces Toll-Free Hotline
For Reporting Threats to Water Quality
Throughout the Watershed

Commissioner Joel A. Miele Sr. of the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) announced today that the Department has established a 24-hour, toll-free hotline which the public may call to report conditions that threaten water quality in any of the streams, wetlands, ponds and reservoirs of the watershed. The new hotline number is:

1-888-DEP-NYC1 (1-888-337-6921)

Commissioner Miele said, "Often our first line of defense against contamination of the water supply is the concerned citizens who tell DEP about situations that may endanger the reservoirs, trout streams and other water bodies of the watershed. This new hotline will make it easy and cost-free for people to call DEP with such complaints."

Citizens are asked to report the following conditions anywhere within the watershed:

  • 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 that citizens can give DEP to keep the waters of the watershed free from pollution."


More Information

NYC Department of Environmental Protection
Public Affairs

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

(718) 595-6600