Consolidated SPDES Renewals
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (Department) has prepared a draft Commissioner Policy entitled "Use of Enforcement Discretion for Discarded Mercury- Containing Equipment."
This draft Policy provides for the use of enforcement discretion by the Department to allow the regulated community to comply with the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s (USEPA) final rule, promulgated in 70 FR 45507-455522 on August 5, 2005, which adds mercury-containing equipment to the Federal Universal Waste Rule 40 CFR Part 273, as an alternative to the existing Department hazardous waste regulations. This draft Policy will facilitate collection and help ensure proper management of mercury-containing equipment waste pursuant to USEPA’s requirements of 40 CFR Part 273, with supporting language in 40 CFR Parts 260, 261, 264 265 268 and 270 until such time as the Department adopts these USEPA hazardous waste regulations in New York State.
A copy of the draft policy is available from John Miccoli, NYSDEC, 625 Broadway, 9th Floor, Albany, New York 12233-7251, telephone number (518) 402-8633. The draft Policy may also be found at www.dec.state.ny.us/website/dshm/hzwstman/merequip.html.
Written comments on the draft Policy will be accepted for 30 days from the date of publication of this notice. Written comments should be addressed to Paul Counterman, P.E., Director, Bureau of Hazardous Waste Regulation, at the above address.
This Implementation Plan outlines tasks to reduce non-point sources of phosphorus in the Croton watershed. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has prepared this plan in accordance with the January 1997 NYC Watershed Memorandum of Agreement and Section 303(d) of the Clean Water Act. The goal of this plan is to reduce the phosphorus concentration in the eight reservoirs listed in the Phase II Phosphorus TMDL as needing further phosphorus reduction than will be achieved by the wastewater treatment plant upgrades required by the NYC Watershed Rules and Regulations. The eight reservoirs are named the Amawalk, Croton Falls, Diverting, East Branch, Middle Branch, Muscoot, New Croton and Titicus. Eighteen towns/villages in Dutchess, Putnam and Westchester Counties are involved.
A substantial part of this plan relies on the stormwater management plans that municipal separate storm sewer system operators are developing pursuant to State Pollutant Discharge Elimination System General Permit (GP-02-02). This permit now applies to each municipality within the East of Hudson portion of the New York City watershed, which includes the entire Croton watershed. This plan also relies on non-point source projects selected by Putnam and Westchester and the New York City Department of Environmental Protection and supported by the NYCDEP East-of -Hudson Water Quality Investment Fund. In addition, the plan includes tasks to reduce phosphorus from agriculture, sanitary collection systems, fertilizer use and other phosphorus source controls.
Over the past several months, the plan has been presented to municipal officials and other primary stakeholders. Comments received from these groups are being considered. To fully complete the review process, additional comments are being sought through this announcement.
Accessing Documents - A copy of the proposed "NYC Watershed Croton Reservoir System Phase II Phosphorus TMDL Non-point Source Implementation Plan" can be requested by contacting Peter Freehafer by telephone at 518-402-8272 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
Public Comment - The Department is soliciting comments on this proposed plan from individuals involved or interested in the Croton watershed area. The comment period runs until April 20, 2006.
Please send all comments to Peter Freehafer at email@example.com or NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, Division of Water, 625 Broadway, 4th Floor, Albany, NY 12233-3502.
The Department (DEC) has developed heightened requirements for the owners of regulated municipal separate storm sewer systems (MS4s) in the East of Hudson Watershed that, if the MS4s implement as part of their Storm Water Management Program (SWMP), they will be presumed to be in compliance with the Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) Strategy requirements in Part III.B.2 of the MS4 State Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (SPDES) General Permit (GP-02-02). Part III.B.2 requires an MS4 with discharges to an approved TMDL waterbody, that is not meeting the TMDL stormwater (load) allocations, to modify its SWMP to ensure that the reduction of the pollutant of concern specified in the TMDL is achieved. The permit requires that modifications to the SWMP be considered for each of the six minimum measures.
To assist in the development of the heightened requirements, the DEC hired the nationally recognized experts in stormwater, the Center For Watershed Protection (CWP). The CWP assessed existing local programs to determine how stormwater runoff is being addressed within the East of Hudson Watershed, they evaluated the DEC’s statewide Phase II MS4 Stormwater program, and provided recommendations to the DEC on how it could further its Phase II program within the East of Hudson Watershed.
The DEC also used recommendations included in the "Recommendations To The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation for The Development Of Its Phase II TMDL Implementation Plan" report prepared by the Watershed Protection and Partnership Council Technical Advisory Committee, dated March 24, 2004, to develop the heightened permit requirements.
Over the past several months, the heightened requirements have been presented to municipal officials and other primary stakeholders. Comments received from these groups are being considered. To fully complete the review process, additional comments are being sought through this announcement.
Accessing Documents - A copy of the "Proposed Heightened Permit Requirements For MS4s In The East Of Hudson Watershed" can be requested by contacting David Gasper, P.E. by telephone at 518-402-8114 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
Public Comment - The Department is soliciting comments on the documents from individuals involved or interested in the MS4's in the East of Hudson Watershed. The comment period runs until April 20, 2006.
Please send all comments to David Gasper, P.E. at email@example.com or NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, Division of Water, 625 Broadway, 4th Floor, Albany, NY 12233-3505.
The Federal Fiscal Year (FFY) 2006 Intended Use Plan (IUP) for the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) for Water Pollution Control Projects, dated September 2005, is amended.
Amendment No. 1 to the FFY 2006 IUP reflects the temporary waiver of the CWSRF financing policies to address the needs of applicants impacted as a result of EFC’s suspension of its leveraged financing program. This action was necessary due to the USEPA’s internal discussions regarding interpretation of the Clean Water Act with respect to the provision of extended term (up to 30 year) financing to CWSRF applicants.
The comment period for Amendment No. 1 to the 2006 CWSRF IUP remained open until close of business, Thursday, March 9, 2006. There were three (3) comments on the draft amendment which are addressed in the final amendment. The comments do not affect projects to be funded in the current IUP financing period and do not necessitate revision of the amendment. Therefore, Amendment No. 1 is final.
The Final Amendment No. 1 to the 2006 CWSRF IUP will be available on the EFC web site at http://www.nysefc.org in the “Clean Water State Revolving Fund” program section. Copies of Final Amendment No. 1 can also be requested by calling the EFC toll-free line at (800) 882-9721 (within NYS only) or at (518) 402-7433.
The Federal Fiscal Year (FFY) 2006 Intended Use Plan (IUP) for the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF), dated September 27, 2005, is being amended.
Amendment No. 3 to the FFY 2006 IUP authorizes waivers, on a provisional and emergency basis, to the DWSRF financing policies to address the needs of the 2006A Winter Pool applicants and certain others caused by the delay in financing for the 2006A Winter Pool.
The comment period for Amendment No. 3 to the 2006 DWSRF IUP remained open until close of business Thursday, March 9, 2006. There was one comment on the draft amendment which is addressed in the final amendment. There were no additional public comments on the draft amendment. Therefore, Amendment No. 3 is final.
The Final Amendment No. 3 will be available on the EFC web site at http://www.nysefc.org in the “Drinking Water State Revolving Fund” program section. Copies of Final Amendment No. 3 can also be requested by calling the EFC toll-free line at (800) 882-9721 (within NYS only) or at (518) 402-7433.
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is proposing designation of two new Bird Conservation Areas (BCA) in accordance with Article 11 of the Environmental Conservation Law (ECL § 11-0539 , 11-2001 and 11-2003). The BCA program provides a comprehensive, ecosystem approach to conserving birds and their habitats on state-owned lands and waters. It also provides for education and research opportunities related to birds and their habitats. Designation of the BCA will not affect existing recreational activities.
Legislative amendments to the BCA program enacted in 2002 require public notice of any proposed designations with a 30-day public comment period following publication of the notice. At this time, DEC proposes designation of Point Peninsula BCA and Tivoli Bay BCA as new Bird Conservation Areas. Thirty one BCAs have been designated by DEC and the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation since the law was enacted in 1997.
Point Peninsula is a 6,600 acre peninsula that projects out into Chaumont Bay in the northeastern corner of Lake Ontario, in Jefferson County. DEC owns and manages most of the western marsh (300 acres) and 745 acres of upland that is primarily grassland (400 acres), but also 345 acres of shrub and forest as a Wildlife Management Area. The peninsula as a whole is a mix of active and abandoned farms. The working farms primarily produce hay. This site may be one of the most critical wintering areas in the northeast for arctic breeding raptors, in particular: short-eared owls, rough-legged hawks, snowy owls as well as northern shrikes. The site also is in a known important migration corridor for a wide diversity of birds, and provides important migratory stopover and feeding habitats. Area also provides nesting habitat for a diversity of grassland nesting birds. The marsh on the western shore supports a breeding population of black terns, and substantial populations of breeding and migrating waterfowl.
BCA criteria met include: migratory concentration site, diverse species concentration site, individual species concentration site, species at risk site. Migratory species include large flights of swallows, large numbers of blue jays, grassland species (e.g. savannah sparrow, meadowlark), as well as warblers and other songbirds. Diverse species concentrations include grassland species during breeding and migration, songbirds during migration, raptors during migration and over winter, and waterbirds such as black tern, as well as waterfowl. Individual species concentrations include: short-eared owl and Northern harrier (breeding and wintering), black tern, tree swallows during migration; as well as several species during migration and wintering, including: northern shrike, rough-legged hawk, snowy owl, long-eared owl. Species at risk include state listed species such as: short-eared owl, N. harrier, black tern, N. shrike, American bittern; and NABCI Species of Conservation Concern such as: bobolink, E. meadowlark.
Tivoli Bays is a 1,722 acre Wildlife Management Area (WMA) located in Dutchess County, Town of Red Hook on the east side of the Hudson River. Tivoli Bays WMA is the only large freshwater tidal marsh on the Hudson River that is primarily surrounded by undeveloped forest. The north bay is freshwater tidal marsh dominated by cattails. The south bay includes open water and vegetated (at this point largely water chestnut) tidal shallows that are mudflats during low water. The surrounding land is primarily a mix of forest and shrub that provides an important mix of habitats for breeding and migrating songbirds.
BCA Criteria met include: waterfowl concentration site, migratory stopover site, diverse species concentration site, individual species concentration site, species at risk site. Tivoli Bay is one of last known breeding areas for King Rails in the state (not seen in decades). The area is used by a great diversity of dabbling ducks in spring and fall migration with especially large numbers of Black Ducks (peaks of 1,000+). Bald Eagles and Osprey regularly forage at the site during migration. The marshes and surrounding uplands support considerable numbers of migratory songbirds and other migrants, including: many species of warbler and flycatcher, swallows (10,000+), and blackbirds during migration. The area also supports large numbers of individual species such as: marsh wrens (with 1,000+ present during breeding season), large flights of tree swallows and blackbirds, as well as black ducks. Diverse species include marsh species and early successional species (migration). Species at Risk include state listed species such as: least bittern and bald eagle.
DEC will accept comments on the proposed BCAs during a 30-day public comment period which ends April 14, 2006. Comments or questions should be addressed to John Ozard, Nongame and Habitat Unit, DEC, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233-4754, phone (518) 402-8905; fax: (518)-402-8925; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.orgAdditional information on the BCA program and other sites that have been designated can be found on the BCA website at: www.dec.state.ny.us/website/dfwmr/wildlife/bca/.
ELIGIBLE APPLICANTS ARE MUNICIPALITIES AND NOT-FOR-PROFIT CORPORATIONS LOCATED WITHIN THE GEOGRAPHIC BOUNDARIES OF THE HUDSON RIVER ESTUARY AND ASSOCIATED SHORE LANDS.
Applications will be accepted through May 26, 2006 for grant funding under the Hudson River Estuary Grant program. Anticipated grant funds from the NYS Environmental Protection Fund for State Fiscal Year (SFY) 2006-07, is approximately $1 million. This is a competitive grant program and projects must implement priorities identified in Governor George E. Pataki’s Hudson River Estuary Action Agenda 2005 -2009. The Agenda establishes goals and targets for accomplishments which can be celebrated in 2009 during the Hudson/Fulton/Champlain Quadricentennial. Projects must help achieve or support the goals of the Estuary Action Agenda in one of the following five categories: Community Interpretive Centers and Education; Open Space, Planning, Inventory and Acquisition; Community-based Habitat Conservation and Stewardship, Watershed Planning and Implementation; and Hudson River Access: Boating, Fishing, Swimming, Hunting, Hiking, or River Watching. Projects eligible for state assistance must be located within the geographic boundaries of the Hudson River estuary and associated shore lands. State assistance may fund up to 75 percent of approved project-related costs. The matching share to be provided by the recipient is 25 percent.
Applications are available on-line and can be downloaded and filled in at: www.dec.state.ny.us/website/hudson/hrep.html or for a copy of the application you may contact: NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, 21 S. Putt Corners Road, New Paltz, NY at (845) 256-3016.
The Pollution Prevention and Environmental Compliance Council hereby gives notice that a meeting of the Council will be held from 1:00 - 3:00 p. m., March 23, 2006 in the 4th floor conference room of the Empire State Development’s main offices at 30 South Pearl Street, Albany, New York.
Council members include: the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, the New York State Environmental Facilities Corporation, the New York State Department of Economic Development, the New York State Energy, Research and Development Authority and the New York State Office of Science, Technology and Academic Research.
The Council was established to provide guidance on the development of pollution prevention programs. The Council will consider the following:
This meeting is open to the public.
Dennis J. Lucia
Pollution Prevention and Environmental Compliance Council
NYS Department of Environmental Conservation
Albany, New York 12233-1750
Ph: (518) 402-9469
This notice announces the availability of the Draft New York State 2006 Section 303(d) List of Impaired Waters. The list identifies those waters that do not support appropriate uses and that require and are scheduled for development of a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) or other restoration strategy. Public comment on the list will be accepted for 30 days, through March 17, 2006.
BACKGROUND: The Federal Clean Water Act requires states to periodically assess and report on the quality of waters in their state. Section 303(d) of the Act also requires states to identify Impaired Waters, where specific designated uses are not fully supported. For these Impaired Waters, states must consider the development of a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) or other more appropriate strategy to reduce the input of the specific pollutant(s) that restrict waterbody uses, in order to restore and protect such uses. Additionally, the state is required to develop a Consolidated Assessment and Listing Methodology (CALM) to outline its process for monitoring and assessing the quality of New York State waters. The CALM describes the water quality assessment and Section 303(d) listing process in order to improve the consistency of assessment and listing decisions.
INFORMATION: Copies of the Draft New York State 2004 Section 303(d) List 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. An electronic version of the list can also be requested by email to email@example.com. The list is also expected to be available on the NYSDEC website during the comment period at: www.dec.state.ny.us/website/dow/303d2006.pdf.
Public comments regarding the Section 303(d) List should be mailed to the Bureau of Watershed Assessment and Management at the above address.
In January 2001, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation ("Department") submitted A Total Maximum Daily Load Analysis to Achieve Water Quality Standards for Dissolved Oxygen in Long Island Sound (hereafter the "LIS TMDL") to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. www.dec.state.ny.us/website/dow/tmdllis.pdf . The LIS TMDL was developed jointly with the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection ("Connecticut DEP"). In April 2001, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ("EPA") determined that the LIS TMDL met the requirements of section 303(d) of the Clean Water Act, and EPA's implementing regulations (40 CFR Part 130) and thereby approved the LIS TMDL. EPA's Approval Letter for the LIS TMDL, (April 3, 2001).
Table 6 of the LIS TMDL identifies the sum of the New York and Connecticut Waste Load Allocations ("WLAs") from each of 11 management zones. Table 7 of the LIS TMDL contains equivalency factors that identify the relative impact of nitrogen from each zone on dissolved oxygen ("DO") conditions in Long Island Sound. Compliance with the LIS TMDL can be achieved through meeting the WLAs or through new allocations resulting in equal or greater water quality improvements, as defined by the Table 7 equivalency factors. The equivalency factors comprise river delivery factors (the amount of nitrogen discharged to a river segment that makes it the mouth of the river) and Long Island Sound transport efficiencies (the relative impact of nitrogen discharged from a management zone on the hypoxic hotspots). In other words, allocations among facility-specific WLAs can be modified without resubmitting a revised LIS TMDL as long as the new allocations resulted in equal or greater water quality improvements, as determined by the use of the exchange ratios identified in Table 7 of the LIS TMDL document.
The Table 7 transport efficiencies were established from predictions of the "LIS 3.0" water quality model developed in the 1990s. A new model, called the Systemwide Eutrophication Model ("SWEM") has subsequently been developed. The Department recognized early on that SWEM had certain advantages over LIS 3.0 and that the SWEM should be used in the future, once accepted. See Department Response to Public Comments on the LIS TMDL, Modeling Tools on pg 10-11 and Recent/Future Monitoring on pg 24 (January 2001), www.dec.state.ny.us/website/dow/responseliss.pdf. In fact, the LIS TMDL cites the application of SWEM as one of the elements to a planned revision of the LIS TMDL. See LIS TMDL, Reassessment on pg 48 and Table 14. SWEM contains a number of technical improvements over LIS 3.0 and has since been reviewed and approved by the Long Island Sound Study for application to Long Island Sound planning and management.
In light of its subsequent approval by the Long Island Sound Study and after consultation with and without objection from Connecticut DEP, the Department hereby proposes a limited amendment to the LIS TMDL to incorporate the insights from SWEM predictions of the relationship between the DO response to nitrogen discharges from zone 8 (the upper East River Management Zone) and zone 9 (the lower East River Management Zone). This limited technical amendment would support the New York City Department of Environmental Protection's ("New York City DEP") development of a long-term nitrogen control program to attain its WLAs for zone 8 and zone 9 discharges, without compromising water quality. The technical amendment would formalize the use of SWEM ratios in meeting the allocations to those zones in advance of a more comprehensive revision of the LIS TMDL. The Department is soliciting public comment on the proposed amendment before submitting it to the EPA for review and approval.
SWEM predicts a greater overall DO response from achieving the zone 8 and zone 9 WLAs than LIS 3.0. SWEM also predicts that the ratio of the transport efficiencies (the relative impact of nitrogen discharged from a management zone on the hypoxic hotspots) between zone 8 and zone 9 is 4:1, compared to the LIS 3.0 transport ratio of 2:1. Therefore, the Department proposes to modify the LIS TMDL Table 7 transport efficiencies for zone 8 and zone 9 to a 4:1 ratio from a 2:1 ratio. New York City DEP would comply with the LIS TMDL through meeting the WLAs or through new allocations using the updates to the Table 7 equivalency factors. This revision to the equivalency factors would only apply to reallocations between zone 8 and zone 9. Because SWEM predicts a greater overall DO response from achieving the zone 8 and zone 9 WLAs than LIS 3.0, this change places no additional burden on discharges from other zones to achieve water quality standards. The timeframe for using this amendment based on a combination of SWEM and LIS 3.0 ratios would be until the anticipated full SWEM technical update (and other technical updates) are incorporated into a complete LIS TMDL revision.
Public comment on the proposed amendment will be accepted for 30 days, through April 7, 2006. Comments should be submitted in writing to Philip O’Brien of Division of Water, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233-3502, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Comment Period for Five Rivers UMP Scoping Open Through March 28th, 2006
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation welcomes public comments on the scope of the unit management plan for the Five Rivers Environmental Education Center. The principal goals of the Draft Plan are to study new capital initiatives at the Center, and to articulate a shared vision for the long term management and operation of the popular facility.
The purposes of the comment period are to provide ample opportunity for citizen participation at the earliest stage of the planning process, and to ensure that the Draft Plan addresses issues relevant to the public and faithfully reflects community needs and interests. Those wishing to contribute to the planning discussion may submit written comments to Five Rivers Center, 56 Game Farm Road, Delmar, NY 12054 through close of business, Tuesday, March 28.
Publication of the proposed Draft Plan is targeted for September 2006. Those wishing to receive the list of suggested discussion topics or to request "interested party" status for the unit management plan initiative are urged to contact the Center at 475-0291 to get on the mailing list.