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For Release: Thursday, December 10, 2015

NYSDEC & NYSDOH Statement Regarding Formaldehyde Levels at the North River Wastewater Pollution Control Plant

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) and New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) have concluded that there is no immediate risk to public health based on the air quality monitoring results obtained this week that exceeded the state's short-term air guidance value for formaldehyde. To verify samples taken by New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), NYSDEC took air samples at the base of the emissions stack at the North River Wastewater Pollution Control Plant.

At the direction of NYSDEC, the DEP is conducting additional air quality monitoring in nearby locations, as well as undertaking a stack test at the North River Plant to measure emissions from the stacks, to evaluate the need for additional measures to reduce formaldehyde levels and protect public health.

Under NYSDEC's oversight, DEP is working to determine the cause of the increased levels of formaldehyde and is evaluating both short- and long-term options to reduce formaldehyde emissions at the plant. Options being evaluated include changing the fuel mix used in engines at the wastewater treatment plant and accelerating the replacement of the aging engines to more quickly resolve the issue.

As NYSDOH has concluded there is no immediate risk to public health, Riverbank State Park will remain open and all activities will continue as scheduled. Additional air quality monitoring will also occur at the State Park to ensure the safety of Park visitors and employees.

For more information please contact the DEP at 311 in New York City or (212) 639-9675 outside of New York.

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