On Tuesday October 15th, the New York City Dept. of Environmental Protection will hold a public meeting to receive input on the future health of Upper and Lower NY Harbor, Hudson River, Harlem River, East River, Kill van Kull, Arther Kill and the western portion of Long Island Sound. The Citywide Combined Sewer Overflow Long Term Control Plan is the largest, most complex plan.
The October 15th meeting is literally a once in a generation opportunity to go on the public record with stakeholder input to the City and State regarding the health of some of the largest waterbodies that surround New York City. Please join us at the meeting and stand up for cleaner waterways in NYC! You can register and get details about the meeting here.
Combined sewer overflows are the largest ongoing source of pollution in our waterways and the City's proposed plans to clean them up over the next few decades need robust public input. Here is a link to SWIM's blog post on the public's concerns about this plan so far. Based on what we heard at their annual public meeting, we don't think the City is planning to take meaningful measures to reduce CSO pollution in these important waterways.
The State has approved all but one of the City's ten proposed plans to clean up the local creeks and tributaries that weave their way through neighborhoods in every borough of NYC. As they stand right now, once the proposed plans are completed, they will leave hundreds of millions of gallons of sewage overflows in each waterbody annually, on dozens of occasions per year. Many of the plans do not reduce overflow volume at all and some propose diverting raw sewage into the East River or dumping chlorine into raw sewage before discharging it to rivers, creeks, and bays.
Important legislation has recently been introduced that will yield better long term plans and a more informed public. See our blog post here on Intro 1618.
This legislation will require DEP to undertake several initiatives that waterway advocates have long called for. Please take a look at this proposed legislation and stand by for our call to waterway stakeholders to provide public testimony in support of Intro 1618 in late 2019!