News From SWIM Coalition

February 23, 2018

In This Issue:

 

  • SWIM’s Recent Public Meeting

  • SWIM's 2018 Agenda 

  • NYC DEP Progress Report on the CSO Long Term Control Plans

  • SWIM Members Call on DEC not to approve the City's Proposed CSO Long Term Control Plans

  • Updates on Coney Island Creek

  • SWIM Meeting with DEP about CSO Chlorination Concerns

  • Save the Date!

  • Job Openings

  • Waterfront Alliance Harbor Scorecard 

  • How Green is Your City Council Member? 

 

SWIM's January 31st public meeting at Pratt Institute: In case you missed the meeting you can get a recap on the meeting and access the presentations on SWIM's Blog here. We presented our 2017 member survey results and had two break out discussions on key topics we'll address in 2018: Scroll down to see the key topics for our 2018 Clean Waterways in NYC agenda. 

 

 

SWIM's 2018 Clean Water Agenda: 

See SWIM's Principles for Clean Waterways in NYC here. 

Key Topics for 2018:

-NYC's MS4 Stormwater Management Plan: (SWMP) for the NYC Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4): Plan due out in Spring 2018 

-NYC Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) Long Term Control Plans: Open Waters, Jamaica Bay. DEP Public Meetings/Public Comment March - June

-Combined Sewer Overflow Alert System: Ways to Improve the Public Alert System

-DEP's Plans to Chlorinate CSO's: Campaign for CSO capture vs. Chlorination

-Green Infrastructure on Private Property: Provide input on DEP's revamped grant program for GI on private property
 

-Water Rate Restructuring Study: Join forces with advocates around the City to call for an accelerated timeline and specific criteria for the City's water rate restructuring study.
 

 

NYC DEP Progress Report on the CSO Long Term Control Plans

 

Every quarter the NYC Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) submits a progress report to NY Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) on the City’s Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) Long Term Control Plans (LTCP) and posts it on their website


One of our key concerns in the report is that despite ongoing community concern and unanswered questions about potential residual chlorine toxicity, proposed chlorination facilities are moving forward in Alley Creek, Hutchinson River, and Flushing Creek. 

We’ve posted some highlights from the latest report on our blog here.

 

SWIM Resources to Learn More:

 

 

SWIM Members Call on DEC not to approve the City's Proposed CSO Long Term Control Plans: SWIM Coalition sent out an action alert in late January calling on our members and elected officials to respond to the NY State Department of Environmental Conservation's request for public comment in response to their proposed CSO Consent Order Amendment. Here is a link to SWIM's Steering Committee's letter and several SWIM Coalition member's comment

letters on this matter. 

 


The Amendment to the Consent Order will give the City the go ahead to proceed with the flawed CSO Long Term Control Plans we've been following with great concern. 

You can read more about this issue on our blog.

We are especially grateful to

City Council Member and Chair of the NYC City Council Committee

for Environmental Protection, Costa

Constantinides for the comment letter

his office sent to DEC.  

 

 

SWIM participated in a Community Workshop with Coney Island Beautification Project, NYC Water Trails, NY Littoral Society, Billion Oyster Project, Partnerships for Parks and NYC DEP at the Wildlife Conservation Society's New York Aquarium on Saturday, February 3, 2018. Image Courtesy of J. Welch 

 

 

Update on Coney Island Creek 

Stewards and stakeholders gathered at the Wildlife Conservation Society's NY Aquarium this month to share updates on what's going on in and around the Creek. Water quality in the Creek remains a challenge but there are a lot of folks working hard to make sure the Creek gets cleaned up. Check out SWIM's blog post here for details about the workshop.

The community has recently learned that NY State DEC has settled their case with the Beach Haven apartment complex for their illicit discharges violation of 200,000 gallons of raw sewage per day into Coney Island Creek for at least a year.  Illicit discharges are taking place in waterways across the Cityhere is a recent article about the issue.  

Settlement funds from the Beach Haven violation will be distributed via grants to support environmental benefit projects within the Coney Island Creek watershed that address water quality in the Creek, green infrastructure, the creation or improvement of open space and waterfront access, ecological and recreational programs, stormwater management, and green jobs training.

 

SWIM Meeting with DEP on City's Chlorination Plans

SWIM Coalition members and local advocates met with NYC DEP Commissioner Vincent Sapienza and his senior staff members on February 14th to discuss our concerns about the City's plans to chlorinate raw sewage before it discharges into several local waterways rather than capture and retain it during combined sewer overflow events. Talking sewage on Valentine's Day! Now that's some dedicated stewards. Check out our blog entry to learn more about this issue and our discussions with DEP. 

Image courtesy of  Summer Storm Sandoval. 2018

 

Save the Date!
 

  • March 1: SWIM at Alley Pond Environmental Center Clean Water Symposium on Green Infrastructure and Water Quality in Alley Creek and Little Neck Pond, Queensboro Community College 7 P.M. - 9 P.M. Click here to RSVP.

 

  • March 7: DEP Public Meeting at 6:30 P.M.  for the Open Waters East River CSO Long Term Control Plan.  Newtown Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant. Click here to RSVP. This is an important meeting to attend! 3 of the City's proposed CSO Long Term Control Plans are planning to divert CSO overflows into the E. River. For more info see our recent blog post about this issue

 

  • March 29: SWIM Public Meeting 11:00 A.M. at NYC Soil and Water Conservation District, 121 Ave. of the Americas, 5th Floor Conference Room. Click here for more details and to RSVP.

Job Openings

Long Island Regional Planning Council is seeking a Program Manager for New York State’s Long Island Nitrogen Action Plan. Click here for details.

 

Waterfront Alliance Harbor Scorecard 


As you plan your goals and activities for your local waterways this year, don’t forget to use the Harbor Scorecard tool that the Waterfront Alliance launched last summer. The scorecard allows you to take a deep dive into the details that impact water quality in your local waterway.

And the Waterwire newsletter and events calendar on the Waterfront Alliance website are both great places to learn more about what's going on with our waterways and check for waterway related activities going on all over the City each month. Here is a Waterwire entry on SWIM's recent actions related to the CSO LTCP's

 

How Green is Your City Council Member? Click here to see the League of Conservation Voters' 2017 City Council Environmental Scorecard

 

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New Legislation Introduced Calling on the NYC Dept. of Environmental Protection to Rethink Its Flawed Sewer Overflow Plans

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SWIM Coalition is sponsored by the NYC Soil & Water Conservation District and Riverkeeper, Inc. Your donations to SWIM's work are tax deductible under the IRS code170(c)3. 


Donations to SWIM are managed by Riverkeeper, Inc.