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For Release: Monday, September 26, 2016

Black River Watershed 9 Element Plan Uploaded to NYSDEC Website

Municipalities and Stakeholders Can Use Plan to Leverage Funding

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), in coordination with Black River watershed stakeholders, including the Jefferson County and Lewis County Soil and Water Conservation District, Jefferson County Stormwater Coalition, Tug Hill Commission, and the Development Authority of the North Country (DANC), recently approved the "Black River 9 Element Watershed Management Plan: Reducing Phosphorus, Nitrogen and Sediment loading in priority Sub Watersheds".

The plan can be accessed on DEC's website. Stakeholders and municipalities implementing projects within a 9 element (9E) plan will be more successful in leveraging state and federal funding because 9E plans are consistent with the Environmental Protection Agency's guidance to develop watershed management plans.

For example, applications submitted to DEC's Water Quality Improvement Project (WQIP) statewide grant program that identify projects from a 9E watershed plan receive higher points. Leveraging state and federal funding for local infrastructure projects that improve water quality reduces the burden of tax payers while improving local quality of life and promoting business development. Here are recent success stories: City of Watertown was awarded a $2.3 million dollar NYS Environmental Facilities Corporation (EFC) Grant to upgrade municipal wastewater infrastructure and the Village of Lowville was awarded $2.7 million dollar EFC grant to upgrade sewer infrastructure.

The Black River 9 element plan can be used as a model for other watersheds, provides incentives for projects that will address critical water quality issues, can be used in project planning and development, identifies metrics for reductions that will be achieved through project implementation, and contributes to DEC's statewide strategy for Clean Water and compliance with the federal Clean Water Act.

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