Guerrilla History & Urban Exploration

NYC DEP & Wastewater Links

The DEP (Department of Environmental Protection) is the entity that administers both the water supply infrastructure in NYC, and the wastewater infrastructure (sewers and storm drains-- though most of NYC has "combined sewers" which are both sewers and storm drains at the same time). The current (2012) Commissioner of the DEP is Emily Lloyd.

Although the water infrastructure is some of the costliest capital construction in the city  (including ongoing projects such as the multi-decade-digging of City Water Tunnel #3, still under construction), and despite the fact that public awareness can clearly have a profound impact on how sustainably and intelligently we in the city use these infrastructure resources (as proven during the tenure of Commissioner Al Appleton, whose public education and conservation efforts led to a nearly 25% reduction in daily water consumption in the city by reducing wastage and misuse)

Current NYC Reservoir Levels: http://www.nyc.gov/html/dep/html/drinking_water/maplevels_wide.shtml

Excellent "Wastewater Treatment System Brochure" (PDF) from the DEP: http://www.nyc.gov/html/dep/pdf/wwsystem.pdf

For Environmental Review Process--
CEQR Technical Manual, 2012 Edition (Revised 6/18/12)

Chapter on Water and Sewer Infrastructure:

Any projects involving new hook-ups for water supply, wastewater or sewage treatment need to coordinate with
DEP, which is the agency responsible for the water mains and sewers, and hook-ups thereto.  Industrial projects
subject to the City’s Industrial Pretreatment Program should  coordinate with DEP, Division of Pollution Control
and Monitoring regarding that program. Projects involving septic systems will need to consult with DOB.  Projects
involving privately operated treatment plants should coordinate with both DEP and DEC.
• New York City Department of Environmental Protection
59-17 Junction Boulevard
Flushing, NY  11373
Bureau of Environmental Planning and Analysis
• New York City Environmental Protection
59-17 Junction Boulevard
Corona, NY  11368
Bureau of Water and Sewer Operations
• New York City Department of Environmental Protection
59-17 Junction Boulevard
Corona, NY  11368
Bureau of Wastewater Treatment
• New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
47-40 21st Street
Long Island City, NY  11101

Most discretionary land use actions considered by the City Planning Commission (CPC) are subject to the City Environmental Quality Review (CEQR) process. Pursuant to state and local law, CEQR identifies any potential adverse environmental effects of proposed actions, assesses their significance, and proposes measures to eliminate or mitigate significant impacts.  Only certain minor actions identified by the state, known as Type II actions, are exempt from environmental review.  
A "lead agency", responsible for undertaking, funding or approving an action, determines whether the action requires environmental review.  If so, the lead agency is responsible for notifying and coordinating with other involved or interested agencies, distributing documents for public comment, conducting required public hearings, determining the significance of potential environmental impacts and, before making a decision on the proposed action, issuing its findings with respect to measures that would avoid or mitigate any significant impacts. 
The City Planning Commission, with the Department of City Planning (DCP) as staff, is the lead agency for most discretionary land use actions, including those subject to the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP), such as zoning map amendments, and those that are not, such as zoning text amendments and certain authorizations. (Other city agencies are lead for ULURP actions, such as site selections or housing projects and urban renewal plans, for which they are the applicants.)  
The applicants themselves, whether public or private entities, are responsible for preparing the environmental analyses in accordance with methodologies set forth in the CEQR Technical Manual. For example, when DCP proposes a zoning map or text amendment, DCP must disclose and analyze its potential environmental impacts which the CPC, as lead agency, must take into consideration when it votes to approve or disapprove the proposal. The CPC is also lead agency when a zoning amendment is proposed by a private applicant.

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