Tag Archives: lower esopus creek

Ashokan releases ramping up today

NYCDEP Bureau of Water Supply will be increasing the release of water from the Ashokan Reservoir through the Release Channel Saturday December 1st. This increased release has been coordinated with NYSDEC and will not exceed 600 MGD and will last for 3 weeks. The purpose of the increased diversion is to temporarily stop the Schoharie Reservoir from spilling in order to complete the construction of at least one of the two new temporary siphons at Gilboa Dam.

The current release channel turbidity is 9.20 ntu. Releases are scheduled to ramp up in 40 MDG increments hourly, reaching 530 MGD by 4:30PM today.

Esopus Creek turbidity in the news

Turbid releases from Ashokan Reservoir have made headlines in Ulster County for the past year-and-a-half since the NYC Department of Environmental Protection reopened the release channel into the Lower Esopus Creek. Now, the dumping of turbid water has garnered attention in New York City, the beneficiary of the turbid releases in the form of clean drinking water. Writing for the New York Times, Mireya Navarro focuses on how the turbid releases exacerbate the century-old upstate-downstate tensions over the city’s water supply. She writes that long-standing disputes over DEP’s operations in Ulster County have reached a “tipping point.” Read the full article: Muddying of Beloved Creek Is Last Straw for Neighbors of a City Reservoir. Navarro also posted a blog entry about the issue at the NYTimes.com Green Blog: Upstate vs. Downstate: A Slow Boil Over Water Issues.

Reservoir Release Workshop

The Lower Esopus Ashokan Reservoir Release Workshop
Wednesday, April 11, 2012
6:30 – 8:30 pm
@ Cornell Cooperative Extension of Ulster County
In their new Kingston Plaza location at 232 Plaza Road
RSVP cbalmer@rcapsolutions.org

Thank you to all who were able to attend the LEWP-sponsored Lower Esopus Positive Action Workshop at the end of January. We are in the process of confirming and revising the priority projects that were identified during the workshop. One of the major activities we have been pursuing since then is the removal of log/ debris jams along the stream. LEWP is helping coordinate a funding application that is being submitted by Ulster County Soil and Water Conservation District in early April. This funding is for debris sites that did not meet the imminent threat criteria required for funding through the Emergency Watershed Protection Program.

For many of you, the biggest concern is with water quality and quantity associated with releases from the Ashokan Reservoir. LEWP is holding a workshop to provide updates on this issue, including details of NYSDEC/ NYCDEP’s Interim Release Protocol; and to document your concerns and identify community action steps. Please save the date and email RSVP to Candace Balmer cbalmer@rcapsolutions.org.

Lower Esopus Watershed Positive Action Workshop on January 30th

Please join us on Monday, January 30, 2012, from 6:00 to 9:00 pm at the Kingston Holiday Inn to help develop positive actions to improve the lower Esopus Creek. Presented by LEWP, the Lower Esopus Watershed Partnership

As we have begun to characterize the creek and its watershed, we have learned more about why and how it responds to various forces.  We can use this knowledge to implement specific activities that will benefit the watershed and our communities.  Through positive action we not only improve our surroundings, we demonstrate and reinforce our ability to get results.

Together, we will explore, prioritize and detail actions associated with:
• Diverting storm water runoff
• Managing woody debris
• Enhancing streamside buffers
• Exploring municipal land use control options
• Improving emergency preparedness

We will also discuss actions associated with NYC DEP releases from Ashokan Reservoir.

We need you!  Let’s create some doable activities and move into action!  

Refreshments start at 5:30 PM

Monday, January 30th; 6:00 – 9:00 PM
Kingston Holiday Inn, 503 Washington Avenue,
(just off the traffic circle)

LEWP comments on interim protocol

The Lower Esopus Watershed Partnership in cooperation with Riverkeeper prepared comments on the Interim Ashokan Release Protocol. The comments from municipalities and other stakeholders along the lower Esopus were compiled into a letter and submitted to the DEC. The letter calls for a deadline by which time the interim protocol would be replaced by a SPDES permit. Limits on turbidity are also recommended. The letter is available here for download as a PDF.

  LowerEsopusStakeholderCommentsInterimAshokanReleaseProtocol 12-15-11.pdf (108.9 KiB, 1,123 hits)
Comments to DEC by lower Esopus stakeholders on the Interim Ashokan Release Protocol

Ulster County and Riverkeeper petition DEC

Ulster County and Riverkeeper submitted a formal petition to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation concerning the releases from New York City’s Ashokan Reservoir. The petition calls upon DEC to meet its regulatory obligations and uphold water quality standards in the lower Esopus Creek. The DEC is criticized for relying on the Interim Protocol to authorize releases instead of using the SPDES permit program. In October, DEC issued an Interim Ashokan Release Protocol to govern discharges from the Ashokan Release Channel. Unlike a SPDES permit, the interim protocol did not contain any formal provisions for environmental review or public comment. The petition from UC and Riverkeeper reminds DEC of requirements spelled out in state Reservoir Release Regulations.

Read more…