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DEC's Role In The NYC Watershed

What is DEC's role in the NYC Watershed?

The DEC is a major partner in the management and protection of the NYC Watershed. The partnership was organized to protect and to ensure that New Yorkers continue to enjoy high quality, affordable drinking water and to avoid the need for costly filtration - a cost estimated at between $8.0 to $10.0 billion to construct the facility and approximately $1.0 million each day to operate and maintain the filtration plant.

Spillway at the eastern end of the Rondout reservoir System
Spillway at eastern end of
Rondout reservoir system

The DEC is an active partner in the management and protection of the New York City Watershed Program (NYCWP). Within the DEC is the Office of the NYCWP. Formed in 1997, it has staff in Central Office and DEC Regions 3 and 4 who work exclusively on the NYCWP. The Program Coordinator, Thomas R. Snow, Jr., who oversees the program, is located in DEC's Central Office in Albany, NY.

The DEC program staff provides:

  • Technical expertise and support of watershed protection programs and overall coordination with other federal, NY State, local governments, City of New York and environmental organizations involved in the NYC Watershed
  • Direct regulatory and non-regulatory oversight of numerous programs included in the MOA and 2007 Filtration Avoidance Determination within the NYC Watershed. These programs includes:
    • Stormwater Management
    • Wastewater Treatment Plant Upgrades and Construction
    • Community Wastewater Management
    • Septic System Repairs and Replacement
    • Forestry
    • Non-point Source Pollution Control and Management
    • Land Acquisition
    • Stream and Wetland Disturbance Activities

Important On-going Initiatives within the New York City Watershed

  • East of Hudson Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) initiative
  • Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) Implementation Plan
  • Pharmaceutical Monitoring and collections from healthcare facilities

Published Water Quality Monitoring and Assessment Reports