Ashokan – New York City can continue to use water from the Catskill and Delaware system without filtering it, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has ruled.
The new 10-year waiver will save the city the billions of dollars it would otherwise have to spend and operate a filtration plant for its massive system. The city’s Department of Environmental Protection announced the waiver yesterday.
“Our water supply system is self-replenishing, gravity-fed, and dependable, and this new (waiver), with its extended time frame, justifies the investments necessary to ensure that New York City’s drinking water remains unfiltered for decades to come,” said DEP Commissioner Emily Lloyd.
Rep. Maurice Hinchey, D-Hurley, praised the EPA’s ruling but sounded a note of caution.
“Now New York City will step up to the plate and help with conservation efforts by purchasing land along the water to serve as a buffer for any potential pollution and thus help ensure the watershed stays clean,” Hinchey said. “It is also incumbent upon the city to pay its fair share of property taxes to communities within the watershed.”
New York City runs the Neversink, Rondout and Ashokan reservoirs in the mid-Hudson. Numerous communities in the region draw from the massive aqueducts, which run deep underground to New York.
Paul Brooks