Since the NYSDEC failed to include the lower Esopus Creek on the list of impaired waters, the EPA took action to have the creek added to the list for excessive turbidity. The EPA announced its action in a letter to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation regarding Lower Esopus Creek, stating:
After considering all submissions and in accordance with the Clean Water Act
and EPA regulations and guidance, the EPA has concluded that current and available information
indicate that New York State’s narrative water quality standard for turbidity is exceeded in the Lower Esopus Creek and that 303(d) listing for this portion of the creek is therefore necessary.
The listing means that the EPA recognizes that prolonged releases of turbid water from the Ashokan Reservoir has impaired the stream and that the state must come up with remedies to address the situation. The rationale for the EPA’s listing is detailed in supporting materials which accompanied the letter, provided in PDF format here:
EPA Esopus Listing Letter
Esopus Listing Fact Sheet
Esopus Listing Response Summary