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ENB - Region 4 Notices 12/22/2010

Notice of Acceptance of Final EIS

Delaware, Greene, and Schoharie Counties - The New York City Department of Environmental Protection, as lead agency, has accepted a Final Environmental Impact Statement on the proposed Extended New York City Watershed Land Acquisition Program. The Final EIS is available from the contact listed below and online at: http://www.nyc.gov/html/dep/html/environmental_reviews/lap.shtml.

The action involves a proposal by the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (NYC DEP) to continue the watershed Land Acquisition Program (LAP) in the three surface water watersheds that constitute the New York City surface water supply system; the three watersheds are the Delaware, Catskill, and Croton Watersheds. With the expiration of the existing Public Water Supply Permit (WSP) in January 2012, NYC DEP submitted an application for a new 10 year WSP on January 21, 2010, in accordance with the 2007 Filtration Avoidance Determination (FAD) issued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA), seeking permit approval prior to January 2012 to continue LAP through the year 2022. Per agreement with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYS DEC), other regulators New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH), the USEPA, West of Hudson community representatives and representatives of environmental organizations (together "West of Hudson Watershed Stakeholders") after the submittal of the WSP application, it has been agreed that the term of the successor WSP will be 15 years.

The goal of the New York City Land Acquisition Program (LAP) is to acquire fee simple and conservation easement interests to protect environmentally-sensitive land in the New York City watershed as a part of the New York City's overall Watershed Protection Program. LAP is a key component of the New York City's efforts to continue to provide high quality drinking water without filtration of the Catskill-Delaware (Cat-Del) System, which provides water to over 9 million residents of New York City and nearby communities in New York State. Since its creation in the 1990s, LAP has protected, through acquisition, over 100,000 acres of land in the 1 million acre Cat-Del System and over 2,000 acres of land in the Croton System. The land and easements acquired are to be maintained in perpetuity as open space for watershed protection. Together with lands protected by New York State and other entities, these acquisitions have raised the level of permanently protected land in the Cat-Del System from 24 percent in 1997 to 34 percent today.

The project is located in the New York City drinking watershed in the counties of Delaware, Dutchess, Greene, Putnam, Schoharie, Sullivan, Ulster and Westchester, New York.

Contact: Sangamirtha Iyer, NYC DEP, 59-17 Junction Boulevard, 11th Floor, Flushing, NY 11373, Phone: (718) 595-3585, E-mail: siyer@dep.nyc.gov.

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