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May 12, 2010


Farrell Sklerov / Mercedes Padilla  (718) 595-6600

DEP Presents Drainage Plans for Mid-Island Bluebelts on Staten Island

45-Day Window Open for Public to Comment on Scope of Work

Environmental Protection Commissioner Cas Holloway today announced that DEP is seeking comments on the new drainage plans for the Mid-Island Bluebelts on Staten Island. The plans includes a 45-day public comment period to receive feedback from Staten Islanders in order to prepare the required Environmental Impact Statement, which will assess the potential environmental effects of the new drainage plans for the Oakwood Beach, New Creek and South Beach watersheds. The new drainage plans will help reduce flooding through enhanced stormwater management. Construction for this long-term project is scheduled to start in 2013.

"The Bluebelt system is an award-winning approach to managing stormwater in Staten Island," said Commissioner Holloway. "Under Mayor Bloomberg, the City has committed $60 million to this program, with another $200 million planned for the next 10 years. Green infrastructure like the Bluebelt prevents the need for more costly traditional infrastructure, such as underground tanks, that provide no additional benefits to the community. The implementation of these drainage plans is another step toward the creation of a sustainable New York City through PlaNYC, and we look forward to hearing the public's comments."

The Bluebelt system in Staten Island is an integral part of PlaNYC, the City's sustainability program designed to create a greener, greater New York. It channels stormwater into natural drainage corridors, including streams, ponds and other wetland areas, instead of into storm sewers. Preservation of these wetland systems allows them to perform their functions of conveying, storing and filtering stormwater. In addition, the Bluebelts provide important open spaces for the public and diverse wildlife habitats. In January of this year, Clear Waters Magazine, a New York Water Environment Association publication, honored the Staten Island Bluebelt program for its environmentally sound approach to managing stormwater.

The Mid-Island Bluebelt system in Staten Island includes three watersheds: Oakwood Beach, New Creek and South Beach. As part of the expanded drainage plans, the City will add new water features such as streams, ponds, and other wetlands which will work in conjunction with natural topography to help with the collection, conveyance, and management of stormwater. The proposed project also includes adding sanitary sewers which will bring waste to the Oakwood Beach Wastewater Treatment Plant.

The public meeting is being held today, May 12, 2010, at 7:30 p.m. at Community Board 2, located at the Community Services Building at Seaview Hospital, 460 Brielle Avenue, in Staten Island. Those unable to attend can submit written comments by May 31, 2010 to:

Stacy Radine
Bureau of Environmental Planning and Analysis, 11th Floor
New York City Department of Environmental Protection
59-17 Junction Boulevard
Flushing, NY 11373
Fax: 718-595-4479

The project can be viewed here. After the comment period ends, DEP will issue a Final Scope of Work, which will include the public comments.

DEP manages the City's water supply, providing more than 1 billion gallons of water each day to more than 9 million residents, including 8 million in New York City, and residents of Ulster, Orange, Putnam and Westchester counties. New York City's water is delivered from a watershed that extends more than 125 miles from the City, and comprises 19 reservoirs, and three controlled lakes.

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