Department of Environmental Conservation

D E C banner

ENB - Region 2 Notices 6/8/2016

Negative Declaration

Queens County (Queens) - The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (NYC DEP), as lead agency, has determined that the proposed Rockaway Wastewater Treatment Plant Biological Removal will not have a significant adverse environmental impact. The action involves a project to remove nitrogen, which can cause hypoxic (low oxygen) conditions in receiving waters. The biological processes that primarily remove nitrogen are nitrification, a process where ammonia is oxidized to nitrite and then nitrate, and denitrification, a process where nitrates are reduced to nitrogen gas and subsequently released from the wastewater. The Biological Nutrient Removal (BNR) process is intended to be a cost effective means of removing additional nitrogen from plant effluent without requiring significant capital expenditures or reliance on complicated automation and control systems.

The proposed BNR upgrades primarily include the following improvements to the Rockaway Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP), with most of the work involving the modification to the existing aeration tanks:

  • Installation of cast-in-place concrete baffle walls in the existing aeration tanks to establish aerobic and anoxic zones;
  • Installation of mixers in the anoxic zones of the aeration tanks to maintain biomass in solution;
  • Rehabilitation of the existing spray water system to provide the capability of polymer feed to mitigate nuisance filamentous organisms;
  • Installation of new diffusers throughout all zones and replacement of the existing distribution piping from the header into the aeration tanks, including the addition of locally operated control valves;
  • Replacement of main air header expansion joining gaskets to address air leakage issues;
  • Creation of a polymer storage and blending area in the southeast corner of the Return and Waste Sludge Pump Building to house two 275 gallon polymer totes including a new concrete pad and containment curb for spill containment;
  • Installation of dissolved oxygen (DO) monitoring probes per aeration tank pass (16 total for oxic zones) and DO panels per aeration tank (4 total DO panels);
  • Addition of blow-off valves at the existing process air blowers to optimize air flow rate through the system and protect diffusers from excess process air;
  • Structural repairs to the aeration tanks, including the patching of spalled concrete, the replacement of caulk/sealants in all tank construction/expansion joints; and the
  • Replacement of the existing foam spray pumps inside the Chlorination Building.

All construction activities are anticipated to occur over a period of approximately two and half years.

The project is located at 106-21 Beach Channel Drive in Queens, New York.

Contact: Lisa Fuerst, NYC DEP, 59-17 Junction Boulevard, Flushing, NY 11373, Phone: (718) 595-4407, E-mail:

  • Contact for this Page
  • ENB
    Division of Environmental Permits
    625 Broadway, 4th Floor
    Albany, NY 12233-1750
    Send us an email
  • This Page Covers
  • Page applies to all NYS regions