New York City Department of Environmental Protection
|Jurisdiction||New York City|
|Headquarters||59-17 Junction Boulevard|
The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is the department of the government of New York City that manages the city's water supply and works to reduce air, noise, and hazardous materials pollution.
Under a 1.3 billion dollar budget, it provides more than 1.1 billion US gallons (4,200,000 m3) of water each day to more than 9 million residents (including 8 million in the City of New York) through a complex network of nineteen reservoirs, three controlled lakes and 6,000 miles (9,700 km) of water mains, tunnels and aqueducts. DEP is also responsible for managing the city's combined sewer system, which carries both storm water runoff and sanitary waste, and fourteen wastewater treatment plants located throughout the city. DEP carries out federal Clean Water Act rules and regulations, handles hazardous materials emergencies and toxic site remediation, oversees asbestos monitoring and removal, enforces the city's air and noise codes, bills and collects on city water and sewer accounts, and manages citywide water conservation programs. Its regulations are compiled in title 15 of the New York City Rules.
NYCDEP manages three upstate supply systems to provide the city's drinking water: the Croton system, the Catskill system, and the Delaware system. The overall distribution system has a storage capacity of 550 billion US gallons (2.1×109 m3) and provides over 1 billion US gallons (3,800,000 m3) per day of water to more than eight million city residents and another one million users in four upstate counties bordering on the water supply system. The distribution system is made up of an extensive grid of water mains stretching approximately 6,600 miles (10,600 km).
The city's wastewater is collected through an extensive grid of sewer pipes of various sizes and stretching over 7,400 miles (11,900 km). The Bureau of Wastewater Treatment (BWT) operates 14 water pollution control plants treating an average of 1.3 billion US gallons (4,900,000 m3) of wastewater a day; 96 wastewater pump stations: 8 dewatering facilities; and 490 sewer regulators. The bureau has a staff of 1,900 employees, with a $340 million annual operating budget, and an annual capital budget of $200 million.
|Plant||Service area||Size ser day||Discharges to|
|In thousands |
|26th Ward||Eastern Brooklyn||85||320||Jamaica Bay|
|Bowery Bay||Northeast Queens||150||570||Upper East River|
|Coney Island||South Brooklyn, Central Brooklyn||110||420||Jamaica Bay|
|Hunts Point||Eastern Bronx||200||760||Upper East River|
|Jamaica||Southern Queens||100||380||Jamaica Bay|
|Newtown Creek||Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens||310||1,200||East River|
|North River||Manhattan||170||640||Hudson River|
|Oakwood Beach||Staten Island||40||151||Lower New York Bay|
|Owls Head||Brooklyn||120||450||Upper New York Bay|
|Wards Island||Bronx, Manhattan||275||1,040||Upper East River|
|Tallman Island||Queens||80||300||Upper East River|
|Port Richmond||Staten Island||60||230||Kill Van Kull|
|Red Hook||Brooklyn, Governor's Island||60||230||Lower East River|
The current commissioner Vincent Sapienza was appointed by Mayor Bill de Blasio in October 2017. Sapienza served as Acting Commissioner for 16 months after previous Commissioner Emily Lloyd stepped down in June 2016. Emily Lloyd was appointed by Mayor Bill de Blasio for the second time as Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Protection in February 2014. Other former Commissioners include: Frank McArdle (1978–81), Joe McGough (1982-86), Harvey Schultz (1986–89), Albert Appleton (1990-93), Marilyn Gelber (1994–96), Joel Miele (1996-2002), Christopher Ward (2002–04), Caswell F. Holloway (2009-2011) and Carter H. Strickland, Jr. (2011-2014). Commissioners serve at the will of the Mayor of New York City.
Violation of federal environmental laws
The federal government began investigating the DEP in 1998. On August 29, 2001, the DEP pleaded guilty in federal court to criminal violations of the Clean Water Act and the Toxic Substances Control Act, and sentenced to probation. As a condition of probation, the DEP was required to implement an environmental, health and safety compliance program to prevent future environmental law violations and to improve employee safety working conditions.
In 2003, the Office of Environmental, Health and Safety Compliance (EHS) was formed to administer the DEP's comprehensive safety and compliance efforts, which included the EHS Employee Concerns Program.
In 2006, the term of probation was extended and the BWT was included under the federal monitor's oversight following a discharge of untreated sewage into the East River after emergency generators failed to operate during the August 2003 blackout.
On December 25, 2009, probation and federal oversight of the DEP ended.
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Employee Concerns Program
Facilitates DEP employee reporting of observed environmental violations and unsafe employee conditions. Helps employees identify and prevent the harassment and intimidation of co-workers engaged in such activities. - 24/7 confidential employee concerns hotline - contract management plan to quicken execution of safety-related contracts - risk management program
Tiered Audit Program
Rates conditions by priority, enabling the agency to identify and address more than 44,000 specific workplace conditions
Compliance Action Plan
Ensures DEP follows all federal, state and local environmental, health and safety regulations by developing written policies, conducting training, and by purchasing and distributing safety equipment.
Since 2001, DEP has invested about $160 million in environmental health and safety programs.
In 2011, the New York City Water Board appointed Veolia Water to partner with DEP in an effort to identify opportunities to make improvements in every aspect of New York City's drinking water, sewage collection, and wastewater treatment operations. Veolia teamed with McKinsey & Company and Arcadis to acquire additional analytical and technical expertise, respectively. The initiative, branded "Operational Excellence (OpX): The Best Always Do Better," is an opportunity for DEP to take employee ideas and best practices from water utilities across the globe to achieve the agency's goal of being the "safest, most productive, cost-effective, and transparent water utility in the nation." 
Rather than responding to future financial pressures with budget cuts that might weaken critical services, the OpX initiative makes improvements that will increase the strength of DEP. The OpX program aims to streamline workflows, boost efficiency, and continuously identify opportunities for improvements that will allow DEP to maintain its level of customer service, safety, and productivity while minimizing rate increases for its roughly 836,000 rate-payers. To achieve this, the Commissioner set a goal for OpX to achieve operating benefits of $100–200 million by 2016.
- Environmental issues in New York City
- New York City Department of Environmental Protection Police
- New York City Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings (OATH), for hearings conducted on summonses for quality of life violations issued by the Department
- New York City Charter § 1401; "There shall be a department of environmental protection, the head of which shall be the commissioner of environmental protection."
- NYCDEP. "DEP Offices." Accessed 2015-08-20.
- NYCDEP. "New York City's Wastewater Treatment System." Accessed 2015-08-20.
- "Mayor Bloomberg Announces the End of Federal Probation and Federal Monitoring for DEP". Press release. NYCDEP. 2009-12-25.
- http://www.nyc.gov/html/dep/pdf/reports/opx-phase-i-report.pdf/ OpX Phase I Report Archived September 6, 2012, at the Wayback Machine