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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.

Final Federal Fiscal Year 2015 Intended Use Plan (IUP) Released

The New York State Environmental Facilities Corporation (EFC) and DEC have prepared the final Federal Fiscal Year 2015 Intended Use Plan (IUP) for the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF). The IUP includes a list of projects that may receive financial assistance between October 1, 2014 and September 30, 2015.

The final 2015 CWSRF IUP is available to review and download on EFC's website. A direct link is in the "Links Leaving DEC's Website" section of the right-hand column of this page.

Public Comment Period Extended for PCI General Permit

DEC is extending the public comment period for review of a draft version of the renewal of the SPDES General Permit for P/C/I Discharges to Groundwater of Treated Sanitary Waste between 1,000 and 10,000 Gallons per Day per Outfall (GP-0-15-001) and Fact Sheet. Copies of the draft P/C/I General Permit and Fact Sheet are available for public review. View the November 26 Environmental Notice Bulletin for more information.

Written comments on the draft general permit must be submitted by close of business on January 5, 2015. View the November 5 Environmental Notice Bulletin for instructions on how to comment.

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.

New Toll-Free Hotline to Report Polluters and Poachers

Members of the public will be able to instantly report polluters and poachers using a new toll-free hotline to ensure strict enforcement of environmental laws that protect the State's natural resources. The toll-free hotline number is 1-844-DEC-ECOS (1-844-332-3267). It will be staffed around the clock and connect callers to a DEC police dispatcher.

For more information, view DEC's November 13 press release.

$563,248 Awarded for Community-Based Projects in New York to Improve Health of Long Island Sound

More than $1.3 million has been awarded to local government and community groups in Connecticut and New York for 22 grants to improve the health of Long Island Sound, including $563,248 to support projects in New York. The projects, which are funded through the Long Island Futures Fund, will open up 12.4 miles of river for passage of native fish and restore 80 acres of coastal habitat. Nearly 2.9 million gallons of water pollution will be treated through the delivery of water quality improvement projects.

This public-private grant program pools funds from the U.S. EPA, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Long Island Sound Funders Collaborative and the Dissolved Oxygen Environmental Benefit Fund.

More information is available in EPA's November 19 press release. A direct link is in the "Links Leaving DEC's Website" section of the right-hand column of this page.

2013-2014 SPDES Compliance & Enforcement Annual Report

The Division of Water has released its 2013-2014 annual compliance and enforcement report. The report details activities of the State Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (SPDES) Permit Program for the period April 1, 2013 through March 31, 2014.

How do I get a copy of the annual report?

Annual reports from 2008-2009, 2009-2010, 2010-2011, 2011-2012, 2012-2013 and now 2013-2014 are on the DEC SPDES Compliance & Enforcement webpage as PDF files. Links to the reports are in the "Important Links" section of the right-hand column of that page.

DEC's Commissioner Joe Martens Announces Grants to Improve Hudson River Access and Environmental Protections

$183,000 in grants has been awarded for 80 projects to help communities in the Hudson River Estuary watershed improve recreation access and estuary education, protect water quality, enhance tributary fish habitats and increase storm resiliency. The grants are being provided through New York's Environmental Protection Fund and the Natural Resource Damages Fund, and will be administered by DEC's Hudson River Estuary Program.

The awards align with Regional Economic Development Council strategies and the goals of the 2010-2014 Hudson River Estuary Action Agenda to conserve or improve: clean water; waterway access; resiliency; fish, wildlife and their habitats; river scenery; and a vital ecosystem.

More information is in DEC's November 14 press release.

Request for Water Resources Research Grant Program Applications

Applications are now being accepted from New York State's higher education community for the New York Water Resources Institute / Hudson River Estuary Program 2015 Water Resources Research Grant Program. Approximately $130,000 is available for research, management, and outreach activities related to water resources in New York. Up to $20,000 is available per project. Projects throughout New York are eligible, but proposals related to the Hudson River Estuary region are particularly encouraged.

Applications are due by Monday, December 1 at 5:00 PM. For more information, including how to apply, download the request for applications on DEC's Grants Program of the Hudson River Estuary webpage.

Public Comment Period for Draft Aquatic Invasive Species Management Plan

Public comments are now being accepted on the Draft Aquatic Invasive Species Management Plan. The goal of this plan is to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species (AIS) in New York State through the completion of over 50 actions concerning the prevention, detection and response to AIS. Written comments must be submitted by close of business on December 12, 2014. View the October 29 Environmental Notice Bulletin for instructions on how to comment.

More about AIS

AIS threaten the ecology of New York's freshwater resources and can harm water-based recreational and commercial uses to the point that they impact local economies. New York is particularly vulnerable to AIS due to its vast marine and freshwater resources, major commercial ports and the easy access that ocean-going vessels have to the Great Lakes via the State's canal system. Managing an infestation is extremely costly, so prevention is the most cost effective strategy.

Comment Period for Proposed Changes to Lake George Design Standards for Wastewater Treatment Systems

DEC is making the draft revision of the Lake George Design Standards for Wastewater Treatment Systems available for public review. These Design Standards are only applicable in the Lake George Basin for treated sanitary sewage, without industrial wastes, discharging to groundwater.

Written comments must be submitted by close of business on December 5, 2014. View the November 5 Environmental Notice Bulletin for instructions on how to comment.

2014 303(d) List Submitted to EPA

The Final 2014 New York State Section 303(d) List of Impaired/TMDL Waters has been submitted to USEPA for review and approval. The Final List reflects public review and comment on the previously issued Draft List. More information, including links to the Final List and DEC's Response to Public Comment, can be found on DEC's New York State Section 303(d) List of Impaired/TMDL Waters webpage.

The Section 303(d) List of Impaired/TMDL Waters identifies waterbodies that do not support their designated best use. The list is updated every two years.

Blue-green algae bloom notification season has ended for 2014

Blue-green algae bloom information from 2014 has been summarized and moved to the Archived Blue-green Algae Bloom Notices webpage. DEC encourages the public to view the archive reports to be aware of lakes that were listed on the notification web page in the past.

Blooms may still occur in the fall and winter

Blue-green algae may still occur on waterbodies throughout the fall and possibly winter, although fewer blooms occur as wind and air temperatures rapidly decrease in the fall. Because waterbodies may have blue-green algae blooms that have not been reported to DEC, we recommend avoiding contact with floating rafts, scums and discolored water - If you see it, avoid it and report it!

Continue to report suspected blooms

If you suspect you have seen a blue-green algae bloom, or you, your family, or pet has been in contact with a blue-green algae bloom, please follow the instructions for reporting a bloom to DEC.

Public Comment Period for Draft Renewal of MS4 General Permit

The draft renewal of the SPDES General Permit for Stormwater Discharges from Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (GP-0-15-003) and Fact Sheet are available for public review. The general permit for municipal separate storm sewer systems (MS4) will authorize new and existing discharges of stormwater from municipally-owned separate storm sewer systems.

Written comments must be submitted by close of business on November 28, 2014. View the October 29 Environmental Notice Bulletin for instructions on how to comment.

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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