The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is currently proposing changes to water quality standards in NY Harbor that will significantly limit the City’s ability to reach the Clean Water Act goals of fishable and swimmable waters. For most of the Harbor (East River, Hudson River, and parts of Jamaica Bay) the new standards will not protect primary contact uses (which includes swimming). For waterways like Newtown Creek the proposed criteria will not protect secondary contact uses (which includes canoeing, kayaking, wading, etc). This is the first major change to the Clean Water Act standards in NY State since 1985(!), and could mean that the ongoing dumping of billions of combined sewage into our waterways every year will continue with no end in sight and no protection for actual current uses.
It is very important that community members and waterway users share feedback with DEC. If you have ever gone boating on the Creek or one day hope to be able to safely touch the waters without fear of exposure to sewage contamination – please submit comment by 11:59pm June 20th through any of the channels below. It is important to share personal experiences, observations, and goals as much as possible – so share yours and help spread the word.
+ Riverkeeper’s Online Action: just fill in your name and personalize your comments.
+ Submit comments directly to DEC:
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
625 Broadway, 4th Floor
Albany, NY 12233-3500, ATTN: Michelle Tompkins
Phone: (518) 402-8179
+ Testify at one of two public hearings:
In-person: Tuesday June 13th, 2pm
NYS DEC – Region 2 Office
8th Floor, room 834
47-40 21st Street
Long Island City, NY 11101
Virtual: Thursday June 15th, 2pm Register here.