If you live in the NYC area, you need to attend the NYC DEP meeting this Thursday, November 15
Recently, the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (NYC DEP) approved seven plans and has proposed two more – without a public hearing (S.W.I.M. Coalition) – to address the issue of sewer overflows. On November 15th, they are holding their annual citywide CSO (combined sewer overflow) meeting to review these series of Long Term Control Plans (LTCP) for nine NYC waterways. Everyone is welcome to attend, but you must register first.
The NYC DEP is tasked to protect public health and the environment by supplying clean drinking water, collecting and treating wastewater, and reducing air, noise, and hazardous materials pollution.
Environmental Groups Speak Out
The National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and other groups such as the Storm Water Infrastructure Matters Coalition (S.W.I.M.) have spoken loudly for citizen input regarding the changes proposed to the NYC DEP’s new Long Term Control Plans. They believe the city’s plans are deeply flawed and would continue to allow massive amounts of sewage to flow into waters across the city.
The environmental groups also feel the plans don’t take full advantage of solutions like green infrastructure — including rain gardens, greenroofs, and street trees — that improve our neighborhoods and keep our waters clean.
Citizen Input Needed to Support Green Infrastructure
Marni Marjorelle of Alive Structures called to let us know that we have to get the word out to help defend the health of New York’s waterways, which in turn includes green infrastructure (GI) and greenroofs, of course.
“We need to show up in numbers at this meeting to show DEP that Green Infrastructure is not just a clean water issue. Showing up in numbers tells the DEP that green roofs and other forms of GI are important to the entire environmental community as well as a growing industry and a educational tool.
The DEP GI program has not had huge success in the past, but they have made significant changes which will help the program create more GI projects in the future. This is not the time to give up on this program but time to make it stronger.” ~ Marni Marjorelle, Alive Structures
“Over 20 billion gallons of raw sewage and polluted runoff flow into New York waterways like the Hudson River, the East River, the Bronx River, Long Island Sound, Jamaica Bay, Flushing Bay, and the Gowanus Canal every year. Tell Mayor Bill de Blasio and other key local elected officials and decision makers to clean up our water! We need a better plan…immediately.”~ NRDC November 9, 2017 eNewsletter
The NRDC urges you to take action and send a message to New York City Mayor de Blasio and other key local elected officials and decision makers telling them to keep raw sewage out of NYC’s waterways.
S.W.I.M. is a coalition dedicated to ensuring swimmable and fishable waters around New York City through natural, sustainable stormwater management practices – green infrastructure – in our neighborhoods.
“The City’s proposed CSO Long Term Control Plans will not make our waterways safe for recreational activities. 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 instead call for diverting raw sewage into the East River or dumping chlorine into raw sewage before discharging it to rivers, creeks, and bays. ~ S.W.I.M. Action Alert
They are asking you to join them at the public meeting and let the city hear from you. Let them know that the proposed plans for NYC’s waterways do not go far enough and the public expects them to do better.
While the City has held waterway specific meetings throughout the year, this meeting will focus on the whole CSO Program. Agenda items will include:
- Status updates on each Long Term Control Plan (LTCP) including those approved by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC)
- NYC Green Infrastructure Program implementation
- Coordination the CSO Program and the Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) Program
What: NYC DEP Long Term Control Plan Annual Citywide meeting
When: Wednesday November 15, 2017, 6-8pm
Where: CUNY School of Law, 2 Court Square West, Long Island City, Queens, NY 11101
Spurred by the recent success of the citizens of Denver and the passage of the Green Roof Initiative (I-300) last week, the importance of public involvement cannot be overstated.
If you live in New York City, it would certainly be in your best interest to become very familiar with the proposed NYC DEP Long Term Control Plans, and the various groups and interested individuals who are promoting green infrastructure in your area!