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Planning Comprehensive Water Quality Based CSO Controls for a Polluted Urban Tributary Newtown Creek, New York City, New York

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The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (NYCDEP) has prepared the Newtown Creek Waterbody/Watershed (WB/WS) Facility Plan Report as required by the Administrative Order on Consent between the NYCDEP and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC). Designated as DEC Case #CO2-20000107-8 and also known as the Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) Consent Order, the Administrative Consent Order required the NYCDEP to submit an “approvable Waterbody/Watershed Facility Plan” for Newtown Creek to the NYSDEC by June 2007. Newtown Creek is one of 18 waterbodies that together encompass the entirety of the waters of the City of New York.

The purpose of this WB/WS Facility Plan, which is one element of the City's extensive multiphase approach to CSO control that was started in the early 1970's, is to take the first step toward the development of a Long Term Control Plan for the Newtown Creek. New York City has been investing in CSO control for decades. Elements already part of the City's CSO program and listed in the 2004 CSO Consent Order amount to over 2.1 billion of infrastructure investment. This does not include millions spent annually on control of CSOs through the Nine Minimum Controls that have been in place since 1994.

The approvable plan that was submitted to the regulators in June 2007 was developed considering regulatory drivers, City policies, and other local considerations and incorporates watershed and waterbody characteristics, existing sewer system facilities, and public participation and agency interaction. Through extensive water quality and sewer system modeling, data collection, community involvement, and engineering analysis, the NYCDEP has adopted this Plan to incorporate the findings of over a decade of inquiry to achieve the highest reasonably attainable use of Newtown Creek. The Newtown Creek Waterbody/Watershed Facility Plan was developed so that it satisfies the requirements of the federal CSO Control Policy and addresses each of the nine elements of long-term CSO control as defined by federal policy.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2008

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