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March 19, 1998

Contact: Geoffrey Ryan, NYCDEP (718/595-5371)

Watershed Communities Contract for New Sewage Infrastructure Funded by New York City

Commissioner Joel A. Miele Sr., P.E., of the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) announced today that the New Sewage Treatment Infrastructure Program is moving forward, as seven watershed communities are expected to enter into contracts in March with the New York State Environmental Facilities Corporation (EFC). The signing of these contracts initiates a one-year study that will identify the area to be serviced, the volume of wastewater to be treated, and the collection, treatment and disposal facilities that are most appropriate for each community. Under the New Sewage Treatment Infrastructure Program, the City will provide $75,000,000 for the planning, design, construction and installation of wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) or community septic systems and related sewerage collection systems for up to twenty-two communities where failing septic systems may cause water quality problems, now or in the future, near streams in the watersheds of the City's West-of-Hudson reservoirs. The New Sewage Treatment Infrastructure Program is one of many watershed protection and partnership programs funded by the City and established under the Watershed Memorandum of Agreement (MOA).

Commissioner Miele said, "Solutions to wastewater problems in participating communities will lead to improved water quality for local groundwater and streams, as well as New York City's reservoirs. Our large investment in environmental infrastructure will provide major economic benefits for watershed communities and demonstrate that the City is fully committed to effective partnerships that advance water quality improvements."

The MOA identified seven high priority communities to be the first participants in the new infrastructure program — Hunter, Prattsville and Windham/Hensonville in Greene County; Andes, Fleischmanns and Roxbury in Delaware County; and Phoenicia in Ulster County. The EFC will be responsible for administering the program funds, and DEP will review and approve proposals for design and construction of facilities. The communities themselves will contract out and control the work and will own and operate any facilities constructed under the program. A separate agreement between participating communities and DEP will provide a subsidy to residential sewer users covering costs over $100 per year, which will be adjusted annually after three years. The communities have already selected engineering consulting firms to conduct the one-year study, and work on the studies will begin after the contracts are signed. Completion of the studies will be followed by a period for designing the approved projects and developing the requisite community planning measures, such as comprehensive plans, subdivision regulations and sewer use ordinances. Construction of facilities will begin following the Community Planning and Design Period. The first of the new wastewater facilities are expected to be completed and in operation by 2003.


More Information

NYC Department of Environmental Protection
Public Affairs

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

(718) 595-6600