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Division of Water

Mark Klotz, Director
Tom Cullen, Assistant Director

a photo of Loon Lake at sunset
Loon Lake at sunset

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.

Topics on this page are advertised via the MakingWaves email list. You can subscribe to MakingWaves and other DEC email lists by visiting DEC's email update webpage. If you already receive updates from DEC, you can manage your subscription on this page too.

Public Hearing on Proposed Rulemaking to Require Class I and SD Waters to be "Swimmable" to be held on January 27, 2015

DEC will hold a Public Hearing on January 27, 2015 at 12:00 PM on the proposed rulemaking to amend Parts 701 and 703 of Title 6 of the Official Compilation of Codes, Rules, and Regulations of the State of New York (6 NYCRR) to require that the quality of Class I and Class SD saline surface waters be suitable for primary contact recreation, such as swimming. The hearing will be held in Room 27A at U.S. Environmental Protection Agency - Region 2 Office, 290 Broadway, New York, NY 10007. The purpose of the Public Hearing is to accept comments from the public on the proposed rulemaking.

Public Comment Period

Public comments on the proposed rulemaking will be accepted through 5:00 PM on February 2, 2015. View the December 3 Environmental Notice Bulletin for instructions on how to comment. The rulemaking documents are available on DEC's Proposed Regulations webpage.

Great Lakes Action Agenda Public Workshops

New York Sea Grant and DEC's Great Lakes watershed program are hosting a series of four public workshops on the Great Lakes Action Agenda across New York's Great Lakes basin in late January through early February 2015. The purpose of the workshops is to provide information on the Action Agenda, discuss the proposed strategy for implementing the Action Agenda, and seek input on priorities for achieving watershed health across the region.

More information, including workshop times and locations and a draft agenda, is available on DEC's Great Lakes Action Agenda webpage.

EPA Partially Approves/Partially Disapproves New York State 303(d) List

The Final New York State 2014 Section 303(d) List of Impaired/TMDL Waters was "partially approved/partially disapproved" by EPA on January 13, 2015. EPA approved all waterbody segments and associated pollutants included in the New York State 2014 303(d) List. However, EPA disapproved the State's decision not to list Jones Inlet/Jones Bay on the South Shore of Long Island for nitrogen.

Pursuant to its partial disapproval, EPA will open a public comment period to receive comments on its recommendation to add Jones Inlet/Jones Bay to the State's 2014 Section 303(d) List. After examining comments received during this period, EPA will make a final determination regarding the listing of Jones Inlet/Jones Bay.

YouTube Videos: Instructional Videos for Sewage Pollution Right to Know Law Notifiers and General Public

DEC has created an instructional video and manual for individuals authorized to report sewage spills through the NY-Alert system. Links to the video and manual are on the Sewage Discharge Reporting Toolbox webpage.

DEC has also created instructional videos to help the public sign up to receive notifications from NY-Alert and learn how to customize their NY-Alert account to receive sewage spill notifications. Links to these videos are on the Sewage Pollution Right to Know webpage. DEC is currently processing applications from municipal sewer systems to use the NY-Alert system and full use of the system is expected within the next few months.

Draft New York Ocean Action Plan Issued

DEC and the New York State Department of State have issued a draft 10-year Ocean Action Plan (OAP) to protect and restore the state's ocean resources and to address urgent issues facing these resources and coastal communities. Public comments on the OAP will be accepted until March 9, 2015.

The draft OAP, instructions on how to comment and more information are available on the New York Ocean Action Plan webpage. More information can also be found in DEC's January 15 press release.

SPDES General Permit for Stormwater Discharges from Construction Activity Issued

DEC has renewed the SPDES General Permit for Stormwater Discharges from Construction Activity (GP-0-15-002). This general permit authorizes discharges of stormwater from construction activities that are required to obtain coverage in accordance with Environmental Conservation Law.

General Permit GP-0-15-002 will be effective from January 29, 2015 to January 28, 2020, and is a replacement for General Permit GP-0-10-001, which expires on January 28, 2015. Visit the Stormwater Permit for Construction Activity webpage to download a copy of the permit, Fact Sheet and Responsiveness Summary. The updated Design Manual is located on the Construction Stormwater Toolbox webpage.

Winners Announced for 11th Annual Environmental Excellence Awards

DEC Commissioner Joe Martens presented Environmental Excellence Awards to six recipients on January 14 at the Colleges of Nanoscale Science and Engineering, SUNY Polytechnic Institute in Albany.

The 2014 winners are:

  • Columbia University's On-Site Solvent Recycling Program for implementing a multifaceted and comprehensive on-site solvent recycling program;
  • Harbec Inc. Becomes Carbon-Neutral for transforming to a profitable innovator producing carbon-conscious components with verifiable carbon reductions;
  • IBM East Fishkill's Chilled Water Optimization Project for its chilled water plant that is among the most energy efficient of its type;
  • New York City's Department of Administrative Services for its Sustainability Program that offers a cutting-edge model for sustainable fleet management;
  • Suffolk County Soil and Water Conservation District's Fuel Tank Replacement Program for its innovative, sustainable, economically viable and socially acceptable solution to aging agricultural fuel tanks atop Long Island's sole source aquifer;
  • Upper Susquehanna Coalition's Wetland Program for its comprehensive and systems approach for conserving and restoring wetlands.

For more information about the program and past winners, and to learn about applying for the 2015 Environmental Excellence Awards, visit DEC's Environmental Excellence Awards webpage.

CSLAP Data Available on Open New York Website

Data from the NY Citizens Statewide Lake Assessment Program (CSLAP) has been added to the Open New York website (a direct link is in the "Links Leaving DEC's website" section of the right-hand column of this page). Information is available about the location and characteristics of CSLAP lakes. Open New York serves as a single location for local, state and federal data from a wide variety of agencies and programs and is searchable by location or subject. Information about other DOW programs will be added to the site over the coming months. Additional data and information is also available on DEC's CSLAP webpage.

More about CSLAP

CSLAP is a volunteer lake monitoring program conducted by the DEC Division of Water and the New York Federation of Lake Associations (NYSFOLA), a not-for-profit coalition of lake associations, environmental organizations, and individuals dedicated to the protection of water resources of New York state. Lake residents from more than 100 NYSFOLA lake associations collect water samples and information every other week during the summer in support of many state and lake association activities. The program was initiated in 1985 and has trained more than 1500 sampling volunteers over the last 30 years.

WI/PWL Water Quality Assessment Updates

Updates of water quality assessment information for individual Waterbody Inventory/Priority Waterbodies List (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 at 4pwlinfo@dec.ny.gov.

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 Black River Basin.

Applications Available for 2015 N.G. Kaul Memorial Scholarship

The application period for the 2015 N.G. Kaul Memorial Scholarship is now open. Applications are due to the New York Water Environment Association (NYWEA) by February 28, 2015. Visit the NYWEA website to download the application (a direct link is in the "Links Leaving DEC's website" section of the right-hand column of this page).

In 2015, 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.

Applications Being Accepted for Adirondack and Catskill Smart Growth Implementation Grants

Adirondack Park and Catskill Park communities and organizations can now apply for $800,000 in Environmental Protection Fund grants for smart growth projects. $400,000 is dedicated to each of the Parks. Grants will support implementation of key projects, actions and strategies identified in local plans developed by Park communities in pursuit of smart growth. Eligible project activities include, but are not limited to: improvement of community water or sanitation infrastructure; and watershed management, protection of stream corridors and stormwater management with green infrastructure.

To view the two separate official Requests for Application and to apply, visit the NYS Grants Gateway. A direct link is in the "Links Leaving DEC's Website" section of the right-hand column of this page. The deadline for both applications is 2:00 pm, January 30, 2015.

More information is available in DEC's November 20 press release.

Articles about Water by Division of Water Staff

Division of Water employees regularly write articles for the magazine Clearwaters, the quarterly publication of the New York Water Environment Association. The DOW Library webpage webpage houses these, and other, water-related articles written by DOW staff and others in DEC.

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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