New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
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Climate Week NYC will be September 21 – 28

The 7th annual Climate Week NYC will be held next week and coincides with the United Nations General Assembly. Over 400 events are planned. This year Pope Francis will attend the UN meetings as momentum builds for The United Nations Conference of Parties climate negotiations this December. DEC will be participating in partner events – like the Carbon Forum - and hosting a social media campaign with daily themes starting September 21.

See the official Climate Week NYC webpage for a full list of events in NYC. There is also a NY Climate Smart Communities conference at SUNY Newburgh on September 25. For more information, check out the DEC Office of Climate Change webpage.

DEC posts Draft modification of the Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System Permit (GP 0-15-003)

On September 16, DEC announced the draft modification of the Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) State Pollutant Discharge Elimination System General Permit (GP), GP-0-15-003, for public review and comment. The proposed modification requires additional reporting for MS4s discharging to waterbodies with an approved Total Maximum Daily Load allocation (TMDL). Proposed reporting forms specific to these waterbodies have been created to reflect the proposed permit requirements.

Copies of the proposed modification, reporting forms and fact sheet, which includes a list of MS4s subject to the changes, are available on NYSDECs website. Comments will be accepted until October 16, 2016.

Upgrades to Surface Waters Classifications in the Lake Champlain Drainage Basin to be Proposed

DEC is drafting a proposal to upgrade the classifications of certain surface waters in the Lake Champlain drainage basin (6NYCRR Part 830). These reclassifications are necessary to meet federal Clean Water Act (CWA) goals for water quality and will result in higher classifications (and thus more stringent water quality standards) for some waters.

All surface waters in New York are classified in Department regulations according to their "best uses" (e.g., fishing, swimming, source of drinking water). In the forthcoming proposal, some Class D waterbodies, which are classified to provide protection for “fish survival,” will be upgraded to higher classifications that will add protection for “fish propagation,” consistent with the “fishable” goal of the federal Clean Water Act. Some waters would also receive protection for trout or trout spawning.

More about the reclassification

More information about the best use classification changes in the Lake Champlain basin is on the DEC Reclassification of Lake Champlain & St. Lawrence River Drainage Basins webpage. This page includes an approximate schedule for the reclassification process.

Blue-Green Algal Bloom Notices

New information about lakes with blue-green algae bloom notices has been posted today, September 18, on the DEC Blue-Green Algal Bloom Notices webpage.

This week, ten waterbodies were added to the notification list, and blooms were reported in several locations in the state. This information is provided from about 180 waterbodies sampled in the last two to three weeks by DEC monitoring programs, volunteers and public reports.

Because waterbodies may have blue-green algae blooms that have not been reported to DEC, we recommend avoiding contact with floating rafts, scums and discolored water – If you see it, avoid it and report it!

Report a suspected bloom

If you suspect you have seen a blue-green algae bloom, or you, your family, or pet has been in contact with a blue-green algae bloom, please follow the instructions for reporting a bloom to DEC.

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