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For Release: Wednesday, January 25, 2012

DEC Reminds Water Withdrawers to Report Their Water Use

A Phased-In Approach for Compliance will be Applied to Existing Water Users that Report Their Water Use by February 15, 2012

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation is reminding entities that currently use significant volumes of New York's water, including from the Great Lakes, that they must report their water use by February 15.

A new water resources law, signed by Governor Cuomo in August 2011, requires a state permit for most water withdrawals that meet or exceed a threshold of 100,000 gallons per day.

Under the draft regulations that would implement the new law, current water users that report their water use to DEC before February 15 will benefit from a phased-in process that establishes varying dates for when a permit would be needed to continue to withdraw large volumes of water. Under the phased-in approach proposed in the draft regulations, the largest water users, those with water withdrawal systems withdrawing or designed to withdraw more than 100 million gallons per day, would need to obtain a permit by February 15, 2013.

The smallest water users, those with systems withdrawing or designed to withdraw at least 100,000 but less than 500,000 gallons per day, would need to obtain a permit by February 15, 2017. Farms that currently use an average of 100,000 gallons of water per day in any 30-day period must also report their water use by February 15, 2012 in order to receive an exemption from the permit requirement. Public water supply systems will continue to need permits as required.

Once the regulations are finalized, all new water users of more than 100,000 gallons per day will be required to get a permit. Persons, including farmers, that do not report their current water use by February 15, 2012 will have to apply for a permit as new withdrawers and will be subject to a more stringent authorization process.

To learn how to submit the required reports, water withdrawers should visit the DEC website. For more information on the water withdrawal permit requirements, visit the DEC website.

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