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New York Harbor and its tributaries form a complex hydrologic network of open waters, embayments, rivers, estuaries, wetlands and riparian areas. The New York State classifications of many of these waterbodies may not be considered to meet the “fishable/swimmable” criteria of the Clean Water Act. Even so, current water quality standards, although lower than fishable/swimmable, are still not attained in many locations throughout the Harbor and its tributaries. The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is implementing a multi-phase program to address the impacts of combined sewer overflows (CSOs) and water pollution control plants (WPCPs) on these waterbodies. A major new effort, the Use and Standards Attainment (USA) Project, was launched by the DEP in August 1999 as part of its continuing efforts to maintain and improve water quality in New York Harbor and its environs. A watershed-based approach is being utilized to conduct an integrated evaluation of the interdependent factors affecting receiving water uses, including storm water, CSOs, wastewater treatment, upland uses, shoreline uses, habitats, sediment and water quality with the active participation of major stakeholders from the start of the process.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2000-01-01

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