New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
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DEC Launches Municipal Sewage System Asset Management Pilot Program

DEC is offering municipalities the opportunity to volunteer to be part the state’s Municipal Sewage System Asset Management Pilot Program. Asset management is a tool to help municipalities manage their wastewater system so that it can meet consumer demands. The pilot program is expected to run for three years, and the state anticipates that up to twenty municipalities will be able to participate. At the conclusion of the program, the participating municipalities can expect to have a completed municipal sewage system asset management plan and the tools (e.g., computerized asset management system) to implement the plan.

Applications are due on January 20, 2016.

Water Withdrawal Guidance Available for Public Review

Technical and Operational Guidance Series (TOGS) 1.3.12 regarding the incorporation of flow-related conditions in water withdrawal permits is now available for public review.

When there are large withdrawals from a water body, DEC must consider the amount of water that should be allowed to continue downstream (passby flows or reservoir releases) for other withdrawal uses and to provide protection for aquatic habitats. TOGS 1.3.12 will guide DEC on how to determine these protective flows or releases and incorporate adequate requirements into corresponding water withdrawal permits.

Written comments on TOGS 1.3.12 must be submitted by close of business on Monday, December 21, 2015.

Winners Announced for 12th Annual Environmental Excellence Awards

Acting DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos presented Environmental Excellence Awards to seven recipients on November 17 at the Colleges of Nanoscale Science and Engineering, SUNY Polytechnic Institute in Albany.
The 2015 winners are:

  • Jacob K. Javits Center’s Sustainable Transformation (New York County)
  • Intervale Lowlands Preserve’s Ecosystem Monitoring and Management Program (Essex County)
  • New York City’s Clean Soil Bank (New York County)
  • New York State Office of Parks Recreation and Historic Preservation’s Solar Program
  • Town of Williamson’s Strategic Plan to Achieve Electricity Independence (Wayne County)
  • Upper Susquehanna Coalition’s Stream Team Flood Response Training Program:

For more information about the program and past winners, and to learn about applying for the 2016 Environmental Excellence Awards, visit DEC's Environmental Excellence Awards webpage.

Biological Assessment of the Bronx River

The Division of Water’s Stream Biomonitoring Unit has completed a report on biological sampling of the Bronx River. The Bronx River has been sampled previously, with reports published in 1998 and 2003. Since management and restoration efforts have been increasing recently, there was interest in a resurvey of the river. This benthic macroinvertebrate community assessment indicates water quality in the Bronx River remains impaired for aquatic life. All sampling locations were assessed as moderately impacted. However, in the 2003 report, it was suggested that the appearance of mayflies in the Bronx River would serve as an indicator of water quality improvement, and in the present survey mayflies were found at each location, although in very low abundance and diversity. Their presence should continue to be monitored and will hopefully increase in number and diversity in the future. The report is available on the Long Island Sound-Atlantic Ocean Watershed Reports webpage.

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