Residents and environmentalists in the Hudson Valley have been concerned about turbidity in various water bodies ranging from the Ashokan to the Kensico Reservoirs. The DEC is putting together a draft scope of the Environmental Impact Statement for these water bodies and they want your input.

From the DEC’s office:

Comments are now being accepted on the draft scope for the Environmental Impact Statement to be prepared for methods to control turbidity in the portion of the New York City Watershed known as the Catskill Water Supply System and for the evaluation of potential impacts to both the Ashokan Reservoir, lower Esopus Creek and Kensico Reservoir, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced today.

“These public information sessions and public comment period are just the first opportunity the public will have to provide input on what methods will be proposed and evaluated to control turbidity in these important waterways,” DEC Commissioner Joe Martens said. “DEC will engage the public in every step of this process.”

In May, DEC will hold four public information sessions on what is known as the scoping documents for the project. The purpose of the scope essentially is to outline what environmental factors must be included in a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS), the document that will eventually guide the review of the proposed methods.

The scoping process has six objectives, including to:

  • focus the DEIS on the potentially significant adverse environmental impacts;
  • identify the extent and quality of information needed;
  • identify the range of reasonable alternatives to be discussed;
  • provide an initial identification of mitigation measures;
  • provide the public with an opportunity to participate in the identification of impacts; and
  • eliminate non-significant and non-relevant issues.

DEC looks for comments that relate directly to the draft scope or items which may have been omitted from the draft scoping documents. DEC is lead agency in the environmental review and has determined that the proposed modification to incorporate measures to control turbidity in water diverted from Ashokan Reservoir and to postpone dredging of alum floc at Kensico Reservoir until completion of certain infrastructure projects may have a significant adverse impact on the environment and a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) must be prepared.

The first public information sessions will be held on May 12 at the Ulster County Community College in the Student Lounge, Cottekill Road in Stone Ridge and will be broken into two sessions, one beginning at 3 p.m. and the other at 6 p.m. A second session will be held on May 14 at the Mt. Pleasant Town Hall, 1 Town Hall Plaza in Valhalla. This session will be also be broken in to two sessions, one beginning at 3 p.m. and the other at 6 p.m.

 The draft scope is available at the DEC’s website. It is also available for review locally at the following locations:

Department of Environmental Conservation New Paltz Office
21 South Putt Corners
New Paltz, NY 12561

Department of Environmental Conservation White Plains Sub-Office
100 Hillside Avenue, Suite 1W
White Plains, NY 10603-2860

New York City Department of Environmental Protection Office
465 Columbus Avenue
Valhalla, NY 10595-1336

New York City Department of Environmental Protection Office
71 Smith Avenue
Kingston, NY 12401

Comments on the draft scope will be accepted until the close of business on July 8. The public can send written comments via E-mail, fax or regular mail. Email comments should be sent to: Hard copies can be sent to: Stephen Tomasik, NYS DEC, Division of Environmental Permits, 625 Broadway, 4th Floor, Albany, NY 12233-1750. Fax number is: (518) 402-9168.