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Watershed Management for Potable Water Supply: Assessing the New York City Strategy (2000)

Chapter: Appendix A: Abridged Version of the New York City Memorandum of Agreement

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Suggested Citation:"Appendix A: Abridged Version of the New York City Memorandum of Agreement." National Research Council. 2000. Watershed Management for Potable Water Supply: Assessing the New York City Strategy. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/9677.
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Appendixes

Suggested Citation:"Appendix A: Abridged Version of the New York City Memorandum of Agreement." National Research Council. 2000. Watershed Management for Potable Water Supply: Assessing the New York City Strategy. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/9677.
×
This page in the original is blank.
Suggested Citation:"Appendix A: Abridged Version of the New York City Memorandum of Agreement." National Research Council. 2000. Watershed Management for Potable Water Supply: Assessing the New York City Strategy. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/9677.
×

Appendix A
Abridged Version of the New York City Watershed Memorandum of Agreement (MOA)

LAND ACQUISITION ARTICLE II

In the Catskill/Delaware watershed (approximately 1 million acres), New York City owns 6 percent of the land and 20 percent is owned by the state and maintained as a Forest Preserve. To acquire more land, New York City plans to spend $250 million to buy undeveloped land possessing features that are water quality sensitive (e.g., proximity to intakes, streams, and reservoirs). The City will buy from willing sellers only, and will not enforce their power of eminent domain. The agreement allows certain parcels of land to be exempted from outright purchase, but all land is subject to conservation easements. The City will bid at fair market values and continue to pay property taxes on all acquired land. Property in the Catskill/Delaware watershed has been prioritized into five categories (1A, 1B, 2, 3, and 4) for acquisition. The City is required to contact the owners of 350,050 acres.

$10 million of New York City money and $7.5 million of state money is available for land purchase in the Croton watershed.

NEW WATERSHED RULES AND REGULATIONS ARTICLE III AND ATTACHMENT W

Before the 1997 Memorandum of Agreement, watershed activities were governed by a ruling from 1953. New watershed regulations stipulated in the MOA work in conjunction with existing state and federal regulations and include additional rules unique to the New York City watersheds. An abridged summary is provided for sections with relevance to this report.

Suggested Citation:"Appendix A: Abridged Version of the New York City Memorandum of Agreement." National Research Council. 2000. Watershed Management for Potable Water Supply: Assessing the New York City Strategy. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/9677.
×
Wastewater Treatment Plants (WWTPs)

Minimum Technical Requirements For All WWTPs

• phosphorus removal:

1.0 mg/1 for <50,000 gallons per day (gpd)

0.5 mg/1 for 50,000 - 500,000 gpd

0.2 mg/1 for >500,000 gpd

• 99.9% removal and/or inactivation of Giardia and enteric viruses

Minimum Siting Requirements for All WWTPs

  • No building or expansion in phosphorus-restricted basins.

  • No building or expansion in coliform-restricted basins.

Requirements for Subsurface Discharging Plants, Any Travel Time

  • Remediate existing and build new WWTPs to include:

    sand filtration

    disinfection for systems > 30,000 gpd

    phosphorus removal

  • No part of the seepage unit or absorption field is allowed within 100 feet (ft) of a watercourse or wetland and within 500 ft of a reservoir, reservoir stem, or controlled lake.

Requirements for Surface Discharging Plants, within 60 Days Travel Time

  • No new WWTPs

  • Remediate existing WWTPs to include:

    sand filtration

    disinfection

    phosphorus removal

    microfiltration

Requirements For Surface Discharging Plants, Outside 60 Days Travel Time

  • No new WWTPs discharging into reservoirs, reservoir stems, controlled lakes, or wetlands

  • Build new WWTPs discharging into a watercourse, and remediate all existing WWTPs, to include:

    sand filtration

    disinfection

    phosphorus removal

    microfiltration

Exceptions

  • Can build or expand WWTPs in phosphorus- or coliform-restricted basins if it will eliminate the source of contamination.

  • If it will not, existing plants in phosphorus-restricted basins can be expanded if a 2:1 offset can be demonstrated.

Suggested Citation:"Appendix A: Abridged Version of the New York City Memorandum of Agreement." National Research Council. 2000. Watershed Management for Potable Water Supply: Assessing the New York City Strategy. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/9677.
×
  • Up to 6 new plants in phosphorus-restricted basins (3 West-of-Hudson, 3 East-of-Hudson) are allowed under 5-year pilot program requiring 3:1 phosphorus offsets and a maximum phosphorus concentration of 0.2 mg/l.

Operational Requirements

  • In general, stand-by power units, flood protection, back-up disinfection, two sand filters, flow meter, and an alarm system are required. For subsurface discharge, a pump chamber, an additional area equal to 50% of the absorption field, and percolation and deep hole tests are required.

Subsurface Sewage Treatment Systems

Siting Restrictions

  • All new systems require NYC DEP approval.

  • For new systems, no part of absorption field can be within 100 ft of watercourse or wetland, or within 300 ft of reservoir, reservoir stem, or controlled lake.

  • No new raised systems allowed within 250 ft of a watercourse or wetland, or within 500 ft of a reservoir, reservoir stem, or controlled lake unless site constraints make buffer distances impossible.

Stormwater Controls

Siting of Impervious Surfaces

  • New impervious surfaces prohibited within 100 ft of a wetland or watercourse, or 300 ft of a reservoir, reservoir stem, or controlled lake.

Exceptions

  • Bridges or water crossings.

  • Impervious surfaces used for agricultural activities.

  • Roads used to modify and operate WWTPs, public water systems.

  • Single family home on existing lot or new lot greater than 5 acres which receives a stormwater permit from the state can build an impervious surface within 100 ft of watercourse or wetland.

  • West-of-Hudson, those surfaces located in a village or hamlet or in an area zoned as commercial.

  • East-of-Hudson, those surfaces designated as a main street.

Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plans

  • Activities must obtain a general stormwater permit with two sets of technical requirements:

    • control the first 1/2 inch of run-off

    • volume control

Suggested Citation:"Appendix A: Abridged Version of the New York City Memorandum of Agreement." National Research Council. 2000. Watershed Management for Potable Water Supply: Assessing the New York City Strategy. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/9677.
×
  • No permit required for agriculture and silviculture.

  • Permits only necessary for areas greater than 5 acres.

  • NYC DEP retains final decision-making authority for all activities.

  • All plans should include an analysis of the 25-year storm.

  • Activities in phosphorus-restricted and coliform-restricted areas require additional analyses.

Hazardous Substances

Siting Restrictions

  • No new NYS DEC registered tanks within 100 ft of watercourse or wetland, or within 500 ft of reservoir, reservoir stem, or controlled lake.

  • Between 100 and 250 ft of watercourse, owner must:

    • provide tank registration before installation

    • use best management practices to minimize release of substances

    • meet all other state requirements for hazardous substances

Exceptions

  • Hazardous material used at WWTPs, or in connection with a WWTP.

  • ''Noncomplying regulated activities" exempted, including the replacement of existing facilities.

Petroleum Products

Siting Restrictions

  • No new storage tanks requiring registration under State law within 100 ft of watercourse or wetland, or within 500 ft of reservoir, reservoir stem, or controlled lake.

  • No new storage tanks not requiring State registration within 25 ft of watercourse or wetland, or within 300 ft of reservoir, reservoir stem, or controlled lake.

  • New home heating oil tanks within 100 ft of watercourse or wetland, or within 500 ft of reservoir, reservoir stem, or controlled lake, must be above ground or in the basement.

Exceptions

  • Above buffer distances do not apply to the replacement in kind of existing tanks.

  • Agricultural uses of petroleum products are exempted.

  • Petroleum products used at or in conjunction with WWTPs are exempted.

  • "Noncomplying regulated activities" exempted.

Suggested Citation:"Appendix A: Abridged Version of the New York City Memorandum of Agreement." National Research Council. 2000. Watershed Management for Potable Water Supply: Assessing the New York City Strategy. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/9677.
×
Solid Waste

Siting Restrictions

  • No new or expanded solid waste facilities within 250 ft of a watercourse or wetland, or within 1000 ft of a reservoir, reservoir stem, or controlled lake.

Exceptions

  • Recycling facilities (not including oil, batteries).

  • Composting facilities.

  • Expansion of the landfill in Delaware County.

Agriculture
  • No reckless activity that will increase pollution to the water supply.

Pesticides
  • No pesticide discharges or storage that would lead to discharge that will impair water quality, according to the standards set in A18-D.

Fertilizers
  • No activity is considered "noncomplying."

  • Cannot wash fertilizer application machinery into wetland, watercourse, reservoir, reservoir stem, or controlled lake.

  • Cannot use water from a reservoir, reservoir stem, or controlled lake to make fertilizer.

  • Must use an anti-siphon device when using water from a watercourse to make fertilizer.

  • Cannot store fertilizer in the open.

Exceptions

  • Any agricultural activity in compliance with State or Federal laws is exempt.

  • Individual, non-commercial uses of fertilizer are exempt.

Snow-Melt Materials
  • Do not dispose of snow in wetlands, watercourses, reservoirs, reservoir stems, or controlled lakes if possible.

  • Use as little snow-melt materials as possible.

  • Store snow-melt materials in structures that will not leak.

Suggested Citation:"Appendix A: Abridged Version of the New York City Memorandum of Agreement." National Research Council. 2000. Watershed Management for Potable Water Supply: Assessing the New York City Strategy. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/9677.
×

WATERSHED PROTECTION AND PARTNERSHIP PROGRAMS ARTICLE V

The City is investing $270 million for several West-of-Hudson water quality protection and partnership programs and $126 million for East-of-Hudson partnership programs (see Table 7-3). Partners in this effort include the following organizations and programs.

  1. Watershed Agricultural Program's goal is to refine and demonstrate an environmentally sound approach to farm management. Concerns include nutrients, pathogens, sediment, toxic and organic matter, soil erosion, and pesticides. Leadership is provided by the Watershed Agricultural Council. It is a voluntary program with incentives to farmers and cost sharing for New York City.

  2. Watershed Protection and Partnership Council. The council is the main forum for discussion that brings together city residents and residents of the watershed. The council will review and assess all watershed protection efforts. The Council will have dispute resolution authority to prevent future arguments from spilling into the courts.

  3. Catskill Watershed Corporation is a nonprofit organization created to administer $240 million for water quality protection programs in the West-of-Hudson region. The CWC will focus on septic system inspection, stormwater management, environmental education, stream corridor protection, and improved storage of sand, salt, and de-icing materials.

Suggested Citation:"Appendix A: Abridged Version of the New York City Memorandum of Agreement." National Research Council. 2000. Watershed Management for Potable Water Supply: Assessing the New York City Strategy. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/9677.
×
Page 515
Suggested Citation:"Appendix A: Abridged Version of the New York City Memorandum of Agreement." National Research Council. 2000. Watershed Management for Potable Water Supply: Assessing the New York City Strategy. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/9677.
×
Page 516
Suggested Citation:"Appendix A: Abridged Version of the New York City Memorandum of Agreement." National Research Council. 2000. Watershed Management for Potable Water Supply: Assessing the New York City Strategy. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/9677.
×
Page 517
Suggested Citation:"Appendix A: Abridged Version of the New York City Memorandum of Agreement." National Research Council. 2000. Watershed Management for Potable Water Supply: Assessing the New York City Strategy. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/9677.
×
Page 518
Suggested Citation:"Appendix A: Abridged Version of the New York City Memorandum of Agreement." National Research Council. 2000. Watershed Management for Potable Water Supply: Assessing the New York City Strategy. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/9677.
×
Page 519
Suggested Citation:"Appendix A: Abridged Version of the New York City Memorandum of Agreement." National Research Council. 2000. Watershed Management for Potable Water Supply: Assessing the New York City Strategy. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/9677.
×
Page 520
Suggested Citation:"Appendix A: Abridged Version of the New York City Memorandum of Agreement." National Research Council. 2000. Watershed Management for Potable Water Supply: Assessing the New York City Strategy. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/9677.
×
Page 521
Suggested Citation:"Appendix A: Abridged Version of the New York City Memorandum of Agreement." National Research Council. 2000. Watershed Management for Potable Water Supply: Assessing the New York City Strategy. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/9677.
×
Page 522
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In 1997, New York City adopted a mammoth watershed agreement to protect its drinking water and avoid filtration of its large upstate surface water supply. Shortly thereafter, the NRC began an analysis of the agreement's scientific validity.

The resulting book finds New York City's watershed agreement to be a good template for proactive watershed management that, if properly implemented, will maintain high water quality. However, it cautions that the agreement is not a guarantee of permanent filtration avoidance because of changing regulations, uncertainties regarding pollution sources, advances in treatment technologies, and natural variations in watershed conditions.

The book recommends that New York City place its highest priority on pathogenic microorganisms in the watershed and direct its resources toward improving methods for detecting pathogens, understanding pathogen transport and fate, and demonstrating that best management practices will remove pathogens. Other recommendations, which are broadly applicable to surface water supplies across the country, target buffer zones, stormwater management, water quality monitoring, and effluent trading.

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