Environmental Reviews

Upstate Water Supply Resiliency Project

The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is pleased to announce the availability of the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for the Water for the Future: Upstate Water Supply Resiliency Project.

The subject of this FEIS is comprised of the rehabilitation of the Catskill Aqueduct, WFF Shutdown System Operations, and Inspection and Repair of the RWBT, and the New Paltz Temporary Transmission Water Main. These components collectively are referred to as Upstate Water Supply Resiliency.

Why is This Project Necessary?

Since the 1990s, DEP has been monitoring leaks in the Rondout West Branch Tunnel (RWBT), a portion of the Delaware Aqueduct that connects the Rondout Reservoir in Ulster County to the West Branch Reservoir in Putnam County. These leaks, specifically in the Towns of Newburgh, Orange County, New York and Wawarsing, Ulster County, New York, release between 15 and 35 million gallons of water a day, depending on the amount of water the aqueduct is carrying.

The Water for the Future Program

To repair the leaks, DEP developed the Water for the Future Program (WFF). As part of the program, DEP elected to design, construct, and place into operation a bypass tunnel in the vicinity of the Hudson River and inspect and rehabilitate, as necessary, the remainder of the tunnel. DEP has commenced building the three-mile bypass tunnel around a portion of the aqueduct that is leaking in Roseton in Orange County, New York. The three-mile bypass tunnel will run east from the Town of Newburgh in Orange County, under the Hudson River to the Town of Wappinger in Dutchess County, on the east side of the Hudson. This project was previously evaluated in a FEIS issued on May 18, 2012. A Statement of Findings was issued on June 12, 2012 and documented completion of that component of the WFF environmental review.

Once the tunnel is completed in 2022, the RWBT would be temporarily shut down and drained to connect the bypass tunnel to the existing RWBT and to carry out internal repairs in Wawarsing. DEP estimates that the maximum shutdown duration would be approximately eight months. During this temporary shutdown of the RWBT, water from the Delaware system west of the Hudson River would be unavailable. To ensure the continued supply of clean drinking water during this time, DEP has developed projects and plans comprised of three main components: (1) augmentation of available supply consisting of repair and rehabilitation of the Catskill Aqueduct to restore capacity; (2) WFF Shutdown System Operations, which would allow DEP to rely more heavily on the Catskill and Croton water supply systems during the temporary shutdown; and (3) Inspection and Repair of the RWBT during connection of the bypass tunnel, including decommissioning the bypassed section of the RWBT once the connection is completed.

A Notice of Completion for the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) was issued on September 19, 2016. Public hearings were held on October 20, 24, 25, and 28, 2016 in Ellenville; Yorktown Heights; Newburgh; and Loch Sheldrake, NY respectively, to collect public comments. The public comment period closed on November 14, 2016.

New Paltz Temporary Transmission Water Main: Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement

Subsequent to the publication of the DEIS, DEP identified an additional element of the UWSR Project. Throughout the planning of the UWSR project, one of the DEP’s key commitments is to coordinate closely with Outside Community Connections to confirm they have access to adequate water supply independent of the upper Catskill Aqueduct prior to any temporary shutdown. As a result of coordination with the Village and Town of New Paltz (New Paltz).The new project element would involve the development of a new temporary transmission water main to supply the Village and Town of New Paltz (New Paltz). This temporary transmission water main would supply water to New Paltz during those periods when DEP would need to temporarily shut down the Catskill Aqueduct for extended periods, as described in the DEIS for the UWSR Project.

DEP prepared a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) to evaluate this new element of the project. A Draft Scope of Work for the SEIS was issued on May 26, 2017, a public scoping meeting was held on June 29, 2017 in New Paltz, NY, and the public comment period closed on July 11, 2017. DEP issued the Final Scope of Work and Draft SEIS for the New Paltz Temporary Transmission Water Main on September 6, 2017. The Draft SEIS was made available for public review at various locations including the Town of New Paltz Town Hall, the Village of New Paltz Village Hall, and DEP offices located in Kingston and Queens. The document was also made available for public review on DEP’s website. Written comments were accepted throughout the public comment period, which closed on October 10, 2017. DEP held a public meeting to solicit public comments on the New Paltz Temporary Transmission Water Main SEIS on September 27, 2017 at the Town of New Paltz Community Center, 3 Veterans Drive, New Paltz, NY.

Completion of FEIS

The FEIS evaluates the UWSR project as whole including the Temporary New Paltz Transmission Water Main (see Chapter 9 of the FEIS) and responds to comments received on both the DEIS for USWR and the Draft SEIS.

This FEIS is available for review by the public at the repositories (see below) or may be viewed online (see links below). A hard copy of the FEIS may be obtained from the Contact Person.

Contact Person

Sangamithra Iyer, P.E., Director
Office of Water Supply Infrastructure and Watershed Assessment
New York City Department of Environmental Protection
Bureau of Environmental Planning and Analysis
59-17 Junction Boulevard
11th Floor
Flushing, NY 11373
Phone: (718) 595-3585
Email: wffcomments@dep.nyc.gov





New Paltz Temporary Transmission Water Main: Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS)


Town Clerk

Town of Newburgh 1496 Route 300
Newburgh, NY 12550
Contact: Andrew Zarutskie
Phone: (845) 564-4554

Town Clerk

Town of Wawarsing
108 Canal Street, PO Box 671
Ellenville, NY 12428
Contact: Roxanne Shamro
Phone: (845) 647-7800

Town Clerk

Town of Yorktown
363 Underhill Avenue
Yorktown Heights, NY 10568
Contact: Diana Quast
Phone: (914) 962-5722

Town of Clerk

Town of Marbletown
Rondout Municipal Center
1925 Lucas Avenue
Cottekill, NY
Contact: Heather Moody
Phone: (845) 687-7500


SUNY – Sullivan 112 College Road
Loch Sheldrake, NY 12759
Phone: (845) 434-5750

Town of New Paltz

Clerk’s Office
52 Clearwater Road
New Paltz, NY 12561

Village of New Paltz

Clerk’s Office
25 Plattekill Avenue
New Paltz, 12561

NYC Department of Environmental Protection

59-17 Junction Boulevard
11th Floor
Flushing, NY 11373
Contact: Sangamithra Iyer
Phone: (718) 595-3585
Email: wffcomments@dep.nyc.gov

NYC Department of Environmental Protection

71 Smith Avenue
Kingston, NY 12401
Contact: Daniel Michaud
Phone: (845) 340-7884
Email: wffcomments@dep.nyc.gov

NYC Department of Environmental Protection

465 Columbus Avenue
Valhalla, NY 10595
Contact: David Warne
Phone: (914) 742-2099
Email: WFFComments@dep.nyc.gov