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Consolidated SPDES Renewals

Final Report of the Invasive Species Task Force

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the Department of Agriculture and Markets DAM are seeking public comment on the Draft Report of the New York State Invasive Species Task Force released today. The Report describes problems associated with invasive plants, animals and pathogens. It discusses existing efforts by government, conservation groups, and industry. It also makes recommendations about how New York can more effectively combat this growing and expensive threat.

Invasive species are non–native species that can cause harm to the environment or to human health. As a threat to our biodiversity, they have been judged second only to habitat loss. Invasives come from all around the world and the rate of invasion is increasing along with the increase in international trade that accompanies globalization. Since the Task Force began its work in 2004, at least six new species have invaded New York.

Invasive species have caused many problems in the past, are causing problems now, and pose threats to our future. Zebra mussels, Eurasian watermilfoil, Chronic Wasting Disease, West Nile Virus, Asian Long–horned Beetle, Swede Midge, Purple Loosestrife, Giant Hogweed, and Black Swallowwort are familiar to many New Yorkers. These and a wide variety of other invasive species harm our ecosystems, our food supply, and our “built environments”, including gardens, landscaping,, industry, and infrastructure. Invasive species can also harm recreation and human health.

The public is encouraged to use the web for this review. The full Report is available on the web at www.dec.state.ny.us. For those without access to the web, copies of the Report can be obtained by calling Steve Sanford at 518-402-8924. All comments must be written. They can be sent electronically to fwhabtat@gw.dec.state.ny.us (“ISTF Report” in subject line) or mailed to New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233–4756, Attn: ISTF Report.

Comments will be accepted through September 14, 2005. A final report is due to the Governor and Legislature by November 30, 2005.

The Task Force is also holding 6 public review sessions around New York State.

August 2
7:00 to 9:00 PM
Capital District
The Pride of New York Room
NYS-Dept. of Agriculture and Markets
10 B Airline Drive (north of Christian Brothers Academy)

August 2
7:00 to 9:00 PM
Hudson Valley
Meeting Room 3
NYSDEC Headquarters
South Putt Corners Road
New Paltz

August 2
7:00 to 9:00 PM
North Country
Adirondack Park Agency Headquarters
NYS Route 86
Ray Brook

August 2
7:00 to 9:00 PM
Central New York
Martha Eddy Room
Empire Expo Center (State Fairgrounds)

August 2
7:00 to 9:00 PM
Western New York
Education Center Auditorium
Monroe County Cooperative Extension
249 Highland Avenue

August 2
7:00 to 9:00 PM
NYC – Long Island
Carriage House
Planting Fields Arboretum
Planting Fields Road
Oyster Bay

Availability for Comment on Draft TMDL/Impaired Waters Restoration Plans

This notice announces the availability of DRAFT Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL)/Impaired Water Restoration Plans proposed by New York State Department of Environmental Conservation for two (2) specific waterbodies: Greenwood Lake in Orange County and Finkle Brook in the Lake George Watershed. Public comment on these documents will be accepted for 30 days, through September 2, 2005.

BACKGROUND: States are required by Section 303(d) of the Clean Water Act and EPA's implementing regulations (40CFR Part 130) to develop TMDL plans for waterbodies and pollutants where water quality standards are not being met. By definition, a TMDL specifies the allowable pollutant loading from all contributing sources (e.g., point sources, nonpoint sources, and natural background) at a level necessary to attain the applicable water quality standards with seasonal variations and a margin of safety that takes into account any lack of knowledge concerning the relationship between the sources of the pollutant and water quality. In essence, a TMDL defines the assimilative capacity of the waterbody to absorb a pollutant and still meet water quality standards.

The proposed TMDL/Impaired Water Restoration Plan for Greenwood Lake (for phosphorus) is consistent with a similar TMDL proposed and adopted by New Jersey for this shared waterbody that straddles the New York-New Jersey border. The proposed Plan for Finkle Brook (for sediment) relies on current and ongoing stormwater and other nonpoint source reduction efforts to address existing water quality impairments in Lake George.

INFORMATION: Copies of the proposed draft plans can be obtained by contacting the NYSDEC Bureau of Watershed Assessment and Management by mail at 625 Broadway, 4th Floor, Albany, NY 12233–3502, or by phone at 518–402–8179, or via email at ntcaruso@gw.dec.state.ny.us. The plans are also anticipated to be available on the NYSDEC website at: www.dec.state.ny.us/website/dow/tmdl.html. Comments on these draft plans can be submitted to the Bureau of Watershed Assessment and Management, ATTN: Ron Entringer, at the above address.

Public Notice

Solicitation of All Available Data for the 2006 New York State Section 303(d) List Section 303(d) of the Federal Clean Water Act (CWA) requires States to compile periodically (every two years) a list of impaired waters that do not meet water quality standards and where designated uses are not fully supported. States are scheduled to submit their next Section 303(d) Lists to USEPA by April 1, 2006.

To support the development of the Section 303(d) Lists, States are required to assemble and evaluate existing and readily available water quality related data and information. The purpose of this notice is to announce the schedule for updating the NYS Section 303(d) List and solicit data and information that may be useful in compiling the list.

The water quality assessment of New York State’s waters is a continuous process. Every year waters in 2 or 3 of the 17 drainage basin in the state are scheduled to be re-assessed. This rotating basin approach allows for a re-assessment of water quality of the entire state every 5 years. The assessment of these waters is a public process which includes both the participation of a wide range of state, federal and local agencies and non- government water quality partners (watershed groups, lake associations, academic researchers, etc.) and the solicitation of data and information from these groups. NYSDEC is able to effectively manage the reassessment process by focusing the effort on specific drainage basins over a five-year period. Concentrating on a few basins each year allows NYSDEC to provide ample opportunity for the extensive list of interested groups to provide input and allows for a thorough evaluation of all available data. In order to maintain an effective and comprehensive review of solicited data and information, it is necessary to establish a cut-off date for the receipt of water quality data and information.

In order to be included for consideration in the compiling of the 2006 Section 303(d) List, data and information must be received by September 30, 2005. It is not the intent of the September 30 cut-off date to exclude additional information. Rather it is to provide adequate time to review data and information, complete water quality assessments, receive and respond to public comment on the assessments, compile a draft Section 303(d) List, public notice the list, and submit a final list to USEPA.

Additionally, while data may be submitted for any water in New York State prior to the September 30 cut-off date, the focus of the current assessment effort is in the following drainage basins: Allegheny River Basin, Black River Basin, Chemung River Basin, Lake Ontario (Minor Tribs) Drainage Basin, Lower Hudson River Basin, Oswego River (Finger Lakes) Drainage Basin, and Upper Hudson River Basin. Again the purpose of this drainage basin focus is not to exclude or otherwise limit solicitation of data, but to provide the same level of scrutiny and public review of all water quality information received and allow all who wish to participate equal involvement in the process.

In order to facilitate the review and inclusion of water quality data and information to be considered in the compiling of the 2006 Section 303(d) List, such submissions should be accompanied by a completed Waterbody Inventory/Priority Waterbodies List Assessment Worksheet. This worksheet allows the capture of water quality information based on general observation of conditions and/or local knowledge of designated use support/non-support of a waterbody absent specific (numeric) monitoring data. The worksheet and instructions for completing it can be obtained by contacting the NYSDEC Bureau of Watershed Assessment and Management by mail at 625 Broadway, 4th Floor, Albany, NY 12233-3502, or by phone at 518-402-8179, or via email at dmwicker@gw.dec.state.ny.us. The worksheet /instructions are also anticipated to be available on the NYSDEC website at: www.dec.state.ny.us/website/dow/bwam/wqap.html.

The submission of water quality monitoring data should also include a copy of the corresponding Quality Assurance/Quality Control Plan, QA/QC results summary and description of measures used in the collection of the data.

Additional information regarding the NYSDEC Water Quality Assessment Program and the Waterbody Inventory/Priority Waterbodies List is included in the New York State Section 305(b) Water Quality Report. www.dec.state.ny.us/website/dow/bwam/305b.html.