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Division of Water

Mark Klotz, Director
Tom Cullen, Assistant Director

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Welcome to the Division of Water webpage! The Division conducts a variety of programs to protect and conserve New York's waters. On this page you will find information about the Division's programs and recent activities.

What's New in the Division of Water?

The Division of Water uses this page to highlight water-related information that we think may interest you. This page is updated weekly and topics are typically posted here for about 30 days. If a topic has a specific end date (such as a public comment period or an event), the description is removed after the end date.

Training Programs Offered for New York Wastewater Professionals

Two training programs are being offered in March for New York wastewater professionals. Both programs are approved for six contact hours toward renewal of a wastewater treatment plant operator certificate. They will run from 8:30 am - 3:30 pm each day and will be held at the Washington County Municipal Center, Fort Edward, NY. The courses are:

  • Proper Sampling for Process and Reporting - March 1, 2016. This course explains and demonstrates proper sampling procedures. Topics to be reviewed include the development of a sampling plan, proper sampling locations, sampling devices and containers, preservation and holding times, and chain-of-custody procedures.
  • Laboratory Practices - March 2, 2016. This course provides wastewater professionals with the opportunity to learn the laboratory tests for SPDES permitting and plant operations.

The New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission (NEIWPCC) is providing these programs in cooperation with the NYSDEC. Register for the training at NEIWPCC's website (a direct link is in the "Links Leaving DEC's website" section of the right-hand column of this page).

Reminder: Deadline for Sustain Our Great Lakes Grants Pre-proposals is February 17

Up to $5 million in grants is available for stream, riparian, and coastal wetland restoration projects in the Great Lakes basin. The Request for Proposals and details about this grant program can be found on Sustain Our Great Lakes website. (see "links leaving DEC's website on the right hand side of this page) . Sustain Our Great Lakes is a public-private partnership consisting of federal agencies and environmental organizations.

Those invited to provide full proposals will have applications due April 21. Interested applicants are encouraged to connect with New York's Great Lakes program staff and basin-wide stakeholders to develop competitive project proposals.

Newburgh Long-Term Control Plan (LTCP) to Improve Water Quality in the Hudson River Announced

The DEC has announced that a LTCP with the City of Newburgh has been agreed upon.. Under this agreement, Newburgh will invest approximately $39 million over the next 15 years to improve water quality in the Hudson River and better protect public health from discharges of stormwater and untreated sewage during heavy rain events.

The approved LTCP implements the work in a phased approach that focuses on improving the performance of the combined sewer system, conveyance capacity of the sewer and treatment capacity of the plant. A majority of the projects will be completed within 10 years. Once the LTCP is fully implemented, Newburgh will be able to capture more than 85 percent of the Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) volume and treat it for bacteria and sewage-related floatable waste. As a result of the required water quality improvements from the LTCP, releases of untreated sewage and stormwater mix will be significantly reduced and discharge of floatable debris will also be minimized.

WI/PWL Water Quality Assessment Updates

Updates of water quality assessment information for individual WI/PWL waterbodies are announced through MakingWaves. Most recently, WI/PWL Fact Sheets for the following waterbodies have been revised/updated:

Comments on these (or other) assessments are welcome via email.

In addition, the WI/PWL webpages are being modified to make it easier to find Fact Sheets for specific waterbodies of interest. These changes have now been completed for the Upper Hudson River Basin. With the updating of this basin, the webpages for ALL basins have now been modified to the new format.

Request for Applications for Environmental Excellence Awards

DEC is accepting applications for the 2016 Environmental Excellence Awards program. All applications are due by close of business on April 8, 2016.

The Environmental Excellence Awards recognize and give visibility to outstanding, innovative and sustainable projects or programs. Eligible applicants include businesses, educational institutions, not-for-profit organizations, government agencies, and individuals implementing innovative, sustainable actions or working in creative partnerships to improve and protect New York's environmental resources and contribute to a viable economy.

Webinar on How to Submit a Competitive Award Application

DEC has scheduled a webinar on Wednesday February 24, from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. to provide details about the awards program and how to submit a competitive application. Participants will also hear from previous award recipients about the benefits of receiving statewide recognition. Those interested in learning more about the awards program and how to submit a competitive application must register online (a direct link is in the "Links Leaving DEC's website" section of the right-hand column of this page).

Action Plan for Reducing Nitrogen on Long Island Being Developed

Nitrogen levels in the groundwater and surface water of Long Island are troublesome. The DEC, working in cooperation with the Long Island Regional Planning Council (LIRPC), Suffolk County, Nassau County and several stakeholders, is developing a Long Island Nitrogen Action Plan (LINAP) to address the problem. The plan is in its early stages, and a Conceptual Draft Scope for the Long Island Nitrogen Action Plan (PDF, 1.53 MB) is available for public review. The draft scope sets forth the goals, planning structure, tentative schedules and tasks.

The final LINAP will provide an assessment of conditions based on existing data regarding groundwater quality and quantity, and surface water quality on Long Island. The plan will determine nitrogen load reduction targets as well as alternatives and strategies to meet those targets.

DEC, LIRPC and the Counties want to hear from stakeholders throughout the development of the LINAP and there will be many opportunities to be involved. For example, next week, there are three project scoping meetings to gather input. Information on the development of the LINAP, ongoing opportunities to provide input, and current versions of supporting documents are available on the DEC's LINAP webpage.

Call for Abstracts for Mohawk Watershed Symposium

The Geology Department at Union College will host the Eighth Annual Mohawk Watershed Symposium (a direct link is in the "Links Leaving DEC's website" section of the right-hand column of this page) on the physical aspects of the Mohawk River Watershed in New York State. Sponsored in part through a partnership with D EC's Mohawk River Basin Program, the scientific program and timing of theme sessions will be shaped by submitted abstracts and invited talks. The day-long conference will highlight recent and on-going work in the Mohawk River watershed during oral and poster presentations and technical sessions.

The deadline to submit abstracts is February 26, 2016 and registration to attend the symposium is now open.

Applications Available for 2016 N.G. Kaul Memorial Scholarship

The application period for the 2016 N.G. Kaul Memorial Scholarship is open. Applications are due to the New York Water Environment Association (NYWEA) by February 29, 2016. Visit the NYWEA website to download the application and to learn more about N.G. Kaul and past award winners (a direct link is in the "Links Leaving DEC's website" section of the right-hand column of this page).

In 2016, the N.G. Kaul Memorial Scholarship Fund will offer up to $5,000 in scholarships to students pursuing graduate or doctoral degrees in environmental or civil engineering, or environmental science concentrating on water quality, who show a commitment to government service.

Draft Section 303(d) List Announced for Public Comment

The draft 2016 New York State Section 303(d) List of Impaired/TMDL Waters (303(d) List) is available for public comment. The Division of Water will accept comments until close of business March 4, 2016.

The 303(d) List identifies those waters of the state that do not meet water quality standards and/or do not support appropriate uses and so require development of a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) or other restoration strategy. The NYSDEC has posted the draft 2016 Section 303(d) List and the Assessment and Listing Methodologies used to develop the 303(d) List.

How do I comment on the Section 303(d) List?

Instructions for submitting comments are in the January 13 Environmental Notice Bulletin.

DEC Issues Final Modifications of the Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System Permit

On January 13, DEC issued the final modifications to the State Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (SPDES) Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) General Permit (GP-0-15-003). The modifications require additional reporting for MS4s discharging to waterbodies with an approved Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL).

The finalized modifications to the MS4 General Permit are substantively unchanged from the draft modified MS4 General Permit. Supporting documents, including the modified MS4 General Permit, fact sheet, responsiveness summary and the new reporting forms, are available on DEC's website.

2016 Final Intended Use Plans Now Available

The Federal Fiscal Year 2016 Final Intended Use Plans (IUPs) for the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) and the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) are now available on Environmental Facilities Corporation's webpage (see 'links leaving DEC's website" on the right hand side of this page). The final IUPs explain the CWSRF and DWSRF programs and list projects eligible for CWSRF and DWSRF financing between October 1, 2015 and September 30, 2016.

Complete Financing Applications for all projects pursuing CWSRF or DWSRF financial assistance are due no later than March 1, 2016.

Division Webpages

Carpenter Falls
Carpenter Falls

The Division of Water's webpages fall mainly into one of the two following locations:

  • Water Pollution Control - Information, guidance material and forms about the programs the Division of Water administers to control sources of water pollution.
  • Lands and Waters - Water resource information is divided into the following categories:
    • Watersheds, Lakes Rivers: Information on NYS watersheds and other water bodies
    • Oceans & Estuaries: NYS marine and estuary resource information
    • Groundwater: Aquifer and groundwater information & resources
    • Dam Safety, Coastal & Flood Protection: Program information related to flood protection, floodplain development, dam safety, and coastal management
    • Water Supply & Reclamation: Information on protecting New York's public water supplies and drought information

Division's Mission

The Mission of the Division of Water is to protect and conserve the water resources of New York State. This mission is accomplished through a wide range of programs and activities. Some of these are statewide in their scope and apply to all parts of the state. Other efforts are targeted to address water quality and quantity issues in specific regions of the state, focusing on waterbodies or watersheds where these issues are of particular concern. Still other programs target specific contaminants (e.g., mercury) or sources (e.g., stormwater runoff) or impacts (e.g., acid rain) of pollution.

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