A Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) has been prepared by the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (NYCDEP) for the Extended New York City Watershed Land Acquisition Program.
The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (NYCDEP) proposes to continue the watershed Land Acquisition Program (LAP) in the three surface water watersheds that constitute the New York City surface water supply system; the three watersheds are the Delaware, Catskill, and Croton Watersheds.With the expiration of the existing Public Water Supply Permit (WSP) in January 2012, NYCDEP submitted an application for a new 10 year WSP on January 21, 2010, in accordance with the 2007 Filtration Avoidance Determination (FAD) issued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), seeking permit approval prior to January 2012 to continue LAP through the year 2022. Per agreement with NYSDEC, other regulators (NYSDOH, USEPA), West of Hudson community representatives and representatives of environmental organizations (together “West of Hudson Watershed Stakeholders”) after the submittal of the WSP application, it has been agreed that the term of the successor WSP will be 15 years.
The goal of the New York City Land Acquisition Program (LAP) is to acquire fee simple and conservation easement interests to protect environmentally-sensitive land in the New York City (City) watershed as a part of the City’s overall Watershed Protection Program. LAP is a key component of the City’s efforts to continue to provide high quality drinking water without filtration of the Catskill-Delaware (Cat-Del) System, which provides water to over 9 million residents of the City and nearby communities in New York State. Since its creation in the 1990s, LAP has protected, through acquisition, over 100,000 acres of land in the 1 million-acre Cat-Del System and over 2,000 acres of land in the Croton System. The land and easements acquired are to be maintained in perpetuity as open space for watershed protection. Together with lands protected by the State and other entities, these acquisitions have raised the level of permanently protected land in the Cat-Del System from 24 percent in 1997 to 34 percent today.
The Final Environmental Impact Statement has been prepared to support the application for the WSP. It is anticipated that the future WSP would continue to authorize land acquisition in the watersheds for water quality protection purposes.
A Draft Scope of Work was issued on February 16, 2010. Public meetings to obtain oral testimony on the draft scope were held in Hunter and Delhi, New York on March 23, and March 24, 2010 respectively. The period for submitting written comments remained open until April 5, 2010. A Final Scope of Work was issued on April 30, 2010, finalizing the scope of analysis for the DEIS based on comments received. The DEIS was accepted as complete by NYCDEP and issued for public review and comment on June 1, 2010. The issuance of the DEIS with the Notice of Completion on June 1, 2010 marked the beginning of public review under CEQR.
JOINT LEGISLATIVE PUBLIC HEARINGS: Joint NYCDEP/NYSDEC legislative public comment hearings on the DEIS and complete Water Supply Application were held commencing at 6:00 PM at the following locations and dates. Transcripts can be found by clicking on the dates below:
The public comment period remained open until November 22, 2010.
The Final Environmental Impact Statement, The Draft Environmental Impact Statement, Final Scope of Work, Water Supply Permit Application and Draft Water Supply Permit are linked below. In addition, hard copies of these documents are available at the following repositories:
Delaware County Office of Watershed Affairs
1 Courthouse Square, Suite 3
Delhi, NY 13753
Hunter Town Hall
5748 State Rte. 23A
Tannersville, N.Y. 12485
Gilboa Town Hall
373-1 State Route 990V
Gilboa, NY 12076
Neversink Town Hall
273 Main Street
Grahamsville, NY 12740
71 Smith Ave
Kingston, NY 12401
Putnam County Office Building
40 Gleneida Avenue, 3rd Floor
Carmel, New York 10512
To request a copy or CD of the FEIS please send a request to the contact person below.
Sangamithra Iyer, P.E. Project Manager
Office of Water Supply Infrastructure and Watershed Assessment New York City Department of Environmental Protection
11th Floor, Bureau of Environmental Planning and Analysis
59-17 Junction Boulevard
Flushing, New York 11373
Fax: (718) 595-4479
As part of the Revised 2007 Filtration Avoidance Determination (FAD) issued in 2014 and DEP’s Revised Long-term Watershed Protection Program, New York City is committing to creating the New York City-Funded Flood Buy-Out Program (NYCFFBO). The intent of this program, as explained in the FAD, is “to acquire high-priority parcels that are important from a flood-mitigation and water-quality perspective, but which did not participate or necessarily qualify for a federal and/or State buy-out program. Properties purchased through this NYCFFBO program may have existing structures and other potential sources of water contamination; such structures or other sources would be removed, and the properties would then be maintained in accordance with local flood hazard mitigation goals.”
Like the federal (FEMA) or State FBO programs, properties in the NYCFFBO would not need to meet the minimum size criteria or natural features criteria which are otherwise required under the Extended LAP. Accordingly, this program would require a modification of the WSP to exempt it from the categorical prohibitions identified in the previous paragraph as related to the acquisitions in the federal and State flood buyout programs.