Other Programs, Committees & Advisory Roles
Certain CWC-managed programs outlined in the 1997 NYC Watershed Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) and subsequent Filtration Avoidance Determinations (FADs) have either been completed, are largely inactive, or are intended for very specific constituencies. They include
· Municipal Sand and Salt Storage
· Alternate Design Septic
· Tax Consulting
· Stream Corridor Protection (Debris Removal)
· Local Technical Assistance
The municipal Sand and Salt Storage Facilities Program upgraded or replaced buildings used for storing road de-icing materials to prevent salt and other substances from leaching into groundwater or nearby streams. A total of 39 facilities were constructed for municipalities in the WOH Watershed at a total cost of $9,637,389. New storage areas are safe distances from reservoirs, watercourses and wetlands. The last facility was completed in 2003. A subsequent program which provided for the construction of de-icing materials storage for institutions helped Delaware Valley Hospital in Walton build a facility. The program was underutilized, however, and was discontinued in 2015.
The Alternate Design Septic Program is intended to pay eligible costs of new septic system installations, those costs being added solely due to requirements of the Watershed regulations. Reimbursement is allowed for only those cost increases attributable to the regulations. Because of the specificity of the rules of this program, and the broad reach of the CWC’s Septic Rehabilitation and Replacement Program, the Alternate Design Program has not been widely used and is largely inactive.
The Tax Consulting Program pays the fees and expenses of consultants and/or attorneys retained by Watershed municipalities to review, analyze or assist in the administration of property taxes paid by the City on City-owned lands and facilities in the West-of-Hudson (WOH) Watershed. The fund is intended to provide municipalities and intergovernmental organizations with the resources to conduct assessment reviews and help defray the costs of litigation commenced by the City to challenge assessments.
The Stream Corridor Protection Program, which provided funding for projects to mitigate or correct stream conditions posing flood danger to persons or property, ended in 2010. Thirteen projects were funded through this program.
In December, 2011, the program was modified as Article 12-A and re-funded ($2.5 million) to provide grants for the removal of Flood Debris in stream channels and/or floodplains in the Watershed. Applicants were Towns, Villages, and owners of property in need of flood debris removal, and Soil and Water Conservation Districts in the West-of-Hudson Watershed areas flooded by Tropical Storms Irene and/or Lee on or after August 28, 2011. A total of 120 applications were reviewed by the submission deadline of April 16, 2012. Work at approved sites was to be completed by December 31, 2012. .
The Local Technical Assistance Program (LTAP), closed in recent years, encouraged development of community planning initiatives in the West of Hudson Watershed. It has been reopened and revised to include a new Sustainable Communities Planning Program. It is intended to fund revisions to local zoning codes or zoning maps or to upgrade comprehensive plans in order to identify areas within those municipalities that can serve as new locations for residences and/or businesses to be moved after purchase under the voluntary NYC Flood Buyout Program. Grants of up to $20,000 are available through this program to communities with completed Local Flood Analysis plans. The original LTAP program was intended to improve the quality of life and enhance water supply protection through long-term land use, zoning, pollution and open space controls. In addition to regular LTAP awards, several Generic Environmental Impact Statements and other plans to anticipate water quality impacts of potential development in the Schoharie Reservoir Basin were completed through this program. Those projects were funded by NYC under terms of a 2006 SPDES permit issued by the NYS DEC to the NYC DEP for its discharges of turbid water from the Schoharie reservoir visa the Shandaken Tunnel into the Esopus Creek and Ashokan Reservoir.
The 1997 MOA identified several programs in which the CWC has a consulting role. Those programs included
New Sewage Treatment Infrastructure Program
Under this program, 22 WOH hamlets and villages were identified as potential sites for wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs), community septic systems or septic maintenance districts. NYC initially allocated $75 million for this program, with seven communities at the top of the priority list targeted to receive initial funding. An additional $12 million was subsequently allocated. The seven hamlets were Hunter, Fleischmanns, Windham/Hensonville, Andes, Roxbury, Phoenicia and Prattsville. Six infrastructure projects have been completed. Phoenicia was not completed due to failure of the municipality to meet participation deadlines.
Wastewater Treatment Plant Upgrade Program
This program was established to help upgrade more than 100 existing public and private WWTPs in both East- and West-of-Hudson Watersheds. City funds have been used to rehabilitate, replace or upgrade necessary equipment that was unreliable, failing or nearing the end of its useful life. Such upgrades have enabled the plants to meet higher treatment standards and the conditions of their State Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (SPDES) permits.
This program is constructing extensions to wastewater collection systems serving City-owned WWTPs in Margaretville, Grand Gorge, Tannersville and Grahamsville. Municipalities are required to adopt sewer use and local land use laws insuring that future growth will not exceed the capacity of the WWTPs, which were upgraded by the City under a program separate from the MOA or FAD.
Causeway Bridge Reconstruction
The MOA included a commitment by NYC to reconstruct the Dunraven Causeway Bridge in the Town of Middletown, Delaware County. In lieu of rebuilding the bridge, however, the City reached agreement with the Town of Middletown to provide $3 million to the town to be used for municipal projects, and to allocate funding to the Arena Fire Department. The bridge was dismantled and its abutments were converted to fishing piers.
Schoharie Roads and Bridges
The MOA includes provisions for the repair and reconstruction of approximately 12 miles of roadway and two bridges built during construction of the Schoharie Reservoir in the 1920s. The bridges, on State Route 990V and Schoharie County Road 39, have been completed. Work on sections of six state, county and town roads has also been completed.
Land Acquisition/Sporting Advisory Committee
The MOA required the city to solicit the owners of 355,050 acres of eligible land in the WOH Watershed (approximately 30 percent of Watershed land) in order to purchase vacant acreage to prevent development or degradation of water quality around its reservoirs and feeder streams. The MOA also provided for a committee of outdoor enthusiasts and sporting group representatives -- the Sporting Advisory Committee (SAC) -- to review pending City land purchases and to make recommendations on potential recreational uses for those lands. SAC members, appointed by the CWC, have also provided input on the City’s recreational use regulations and permit system.
Local Consultation Program
This program provides reimbursement to Towns to review and comment upon proposed purchases of land and easements by the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (NYCDEP). Eligible Town costs might include technical and legal review of proposed land purchases by the City, preparation of comments on proposed land purchases by the City, consultant expenses, additional in-house municipal staff expenses, or public hearing and legal notice fees. Maximum reimbursement is $30,000 per town.