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Water for the Future:

Upstate Water Supply Resiliency Project

The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is pleased to announce the availability of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Water for the Future: Upstate Water Supply Resiliency Project.

The subject of this EIS is comprised of the rehabilitation of the Catskill Aqueduct, WFF Shutdown System Operations, and Inspection and Repair of the RWBT. These components collectively are referred to as Upstate Water Supply Resiliency.

Why is This Project Necessary?

Since the 1990s, DEP has been monitoring leaks in the Rondout West Branch Tunnel (RWBT), a portion of the Delaware Aqueduct that connects the Rondout Reservoir in Ulster County to the West Branch Reservoir in Putnam County. These leaks, specifically in the Towns of Newburgh, Orange County, New York and Wawarsing, Ulster County, New York, release between 15 and 35 million gallons of water a day, depending on the amount of water the aqueduct is carrying.

The Water for the Future Program

To repair the leaks, DEP developed the Water for the Future Program (WFF). As part of the program, DEP elected to design, construct, and place into operation a bypass tunnel in the vicinity of the Hudson River and inspect and rehabilitate, as necessary, the remainder of the tunnel. DEP has commenced building the three-mile bypass tunnel around a portion of the aqueduct that is leaking in Roseton in Orange County, New York. The three-mile bypass tunnel will run east from the Town of Newburgh in Orange County, under the Hudson River to the Town of Wappinger in Dutchess County, on the east side of the Hudson. This project was previously evaluated in a FEIS issued on May 18, 2012. A Statement of Findings was issued on June 12, 2012 and documented completion of that component of the WFF environmental review.

Once the tunnel is completed in 2022, the RWBT would be temporarily shut down and drained to connect the bypass tunnel to the existing RWBT and to carry out internal repairs in Wawarsing. DEP estimates that the maximum shutdown duration would be approximately eight months. During this temporary shutdown of the RWBT, water from the Delaware system west of the Hudson River would be unavailable. To ensure the continued supply of clean drinking water during this time, DEP has developed projects and plans comprised of three main components: (1) augmentation of available supply consisting of repair and rehabilitation of the Catskill Aqueduct to restore capacity; (2) WFF Shutdown System Operations, which would allow DEP to rely more heavily on the Catskill and Croton water supply systems during the temporary shutdown; and (3) Inspection and Repair of the RWBT during connection of the bypass tunnel, including decommissioning the bypassed section of the RWBT once the connection is completed.

A Notice of Completion for the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) was issued on September 19, 2016. The DEIS is available electronically at the links below. Public hearings were held on October 20, 24, 25, and 28, 2016 in Ellenville; Yorktown Heights; Newburgh; and Loch Sheldrake, NY respectively, to collect public comments. The public comment period closed on November 14, 2016.

New Paltz Temporary Transmission Water Main: Draft Scope of Work for Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement.

Subsequent to the publication of the DEIS, DEP has identified an additional element of the UWSR Project. This new project element would involve the development of a new temporary transmission water main to supply the Village and Town of New Paltz (New Paltz). This temporary transmission water main would supply water to New Paltz during those periods when DEP would need to temporarily shut down the Catskill Aqueduct for extended periods, as described in the DEIS for the UWSR Project.

The purpose of this Draft Scope of Work for the SEIS is to describe the proposed new element of the UWSR Project, provide the environmental framework for the assessment of this, and identify potential significant adverse impacts, if any. The Draft Scope of Work for the SEIS is being circulated for public review. For a hard copy of this document, please contact the person listed below. The Draft Scope of Work for the SEIS will also be available for review by the public at the repositories listed.

A Public Scoping Meeting has been scheduled for June 29, 2017 at the location listed below with an informal information and listening session taking place one hour prior to the meeting time noted below.

Thursday June 29, 2017 at 7:00 PM

Town of New Paltz Community Center,
3 Veterans Drive, New Paltz, NY 12561

This meeting location is accessible to persons with a mobility impairment. American Sign Language interpreter services may also be made available upon written request to the DEP contact person named below, no less than 10 days prior to the hearing.

Written comments should be sent via mail or email to the contact person listed below. The public comment period will remain open until Tuesday July 11, 2017.

Contact Person

Sangamithra Iyer, P.E., Director
Office of Water Supply Infrastructure and Watershed Assessment
New York City Department of Environmental Protection
Bureau of Environmental Planning and Analysis
59-17 Junction Boulevard
11th Floor
Flushing, NY 11373
Phone: (718) 595-3585


New Paltz Temporary Transmission Water Main


Town of New Paltz

Clerk’s Office
52 Clearwater Road
New Paltz, NY 12561

Village of New Paltz

Clerk’s Office
25 Plattekill Avenue
New Paltz, 12561

Department of Environmental Protection

59-17 Junction Boulevard
11th Floor
Flushing, NY 11373
Contact: Sangamithra Iyer
Phone: (718) 595-3585

Department of Environmental Protection

71 Smith Avenue
Kingston, NY 12401
Contact: Daniel Michaud
Phone: (845) 340-7884

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