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For Release: Friday, December 2, 2011

DEC to Hold Public Information Meetings on Draft Regulations to Protect New York's Water Resources

60-day Public Comment Period Runs through January 22, 2012

Three public information meetings will be held in December on draft regulations to protect New York's waters, including the Great Lakes, by requiring users of significant volumes of water to obtain a state permit before withdrawing the water, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation announced today. The comment period for the draft water withdrawal regulations concludes on January 22, 2012.

"These regulations will better preserve and protect New York's water resources and implement the requirements of legislation Governor Cuomo signed into law earlier this year," said DEC Commissioner Martens. "DEC's proposed regulations will protect the environment while also fostering economic growth through enhanced water resource management for the benefit of New York's residents, businesses and farmers."

Before Governor Cuomo signed the legislation into law in August, significant water withdrawals for agricultural, commercial and industrial activities were largely unregulated. DEC proposed the law to better manage the state's water resources. The draft regulations require a permit for withdrawals that meet or exceed a threshold of 100,000 gallons per day. Existing withdrawals above the threshold must be properly registered or reported by February 15, 2012. Withdrawals below the threshold must still comply with water pollution control laws, New York State Department of Health regulations and state environmental quality review (SEQR) requirements, as applicable.

In addition, the draft regulations enable DEC to comply with the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin Water Resources Compact requirements by regulating all significant water withdrawals occurring in the New York portion of the Great Lakes Basin.

There will be a formal presentation by DEC staff during the public information meetings with a question and answer period to follow. The public information meetings are currently scheduled to run from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. on the following dates and locations:

December 6
NYSDEC Region 3 Office
21 South Putt Corners Road
New Paltz, NY 12561-1696

December 8
West Henrietta Fire Training Center (Station 6)
60 Erie Station Rd Extension
West Henrietta, NY 14586

December 12
NYSDEC Central Office
625 Broadway
Albany, NY 12233

Further information on the proposed regulations is available on DEC's website.

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