Friday, May 25, 2012

NYC Moves on Plan to Clear Up Cloudy Drinking Water from Catskills

A sign marks the Ashokan Reservoir in Shokan, N.Y., in this Dec. 19, 2007 photo. The reservoir supplies much of New York City's drinking water. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)

State conservation officials have issued a draft consent order with New York City for reducing turbidity in Catskills waterways that supply downstate residents - including Staten Island - with water.

The Department of Environmental Conservation plans to take public comments until July 2 on the draft order and the Ashokan Reservoir Interim Protocol for water release management. The goals are decreasing the cloudy sediment and need for aluminum sulfate, a water-purifying agent, in the water supply system.

DEC Commissioner Joe Martens said Wednesday the protocol offers an interim path to protect the watershed as well as the unfiltered water supply for 9 million city residents.

The draft would require the city to pay a civil penalty of $1.55 million for projects including stream gauges and management planning for the lower Esopus Creek.

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