Tag Archives: ashokan

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, 1,236 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…

DEP balks on December public forum

Yesterday, DEP stated through a spokesperson that it cannot make a public forum before year’s end, reported Adam Bosch of the Times Herald-Record. On Thursday, Ulster County Executive Mike Hein emerged from a meeting with the DEP and announced the prospect of a public forum in December to address ongoing issues with DEP operations in Ulster County. DEP said it did not agree to the abrupt timeline for the forum but is nevertheless willing to participate in a public forum. Read more…

Storage objective eludes DEP

DEP was close to achieving the 90% storage objective last week before recent rains delayed achieving the objective. At 90.1% before recent rainfall, the Ashokan Reservoir was at 92.1% today. Once the storage objective is achieved, the DEP will adjust the release flow rate to sustain that objective, which will depend on inflow into the reservoir, snowpack snow water equivalent and the diversion to the Catskill Aqueduct. DEP is still releasing 600 MGD into the lower Esopus Creek, diverting 300 MGD into the Catskill Aquaduct, and treating the Catskill water with Alum at the Kensico Reservoir. The latest water quality report measured the turbidity level from the release channel at 120 NTUs. Turbidity was 130 to 140 NTUs throughout the reservoir’s West Basin and 33 NTUs in the East Basin. At Saugerties Beach, turbidity was 110 NTUs. Upstream of the reservoir, the Esopus Creek was 15 NTUs.

DEC/DEP published Interim Release Protocol

In October, the DEC and DEP agreed upon an Interim Ashokan Reservoir Release Protocol (Protocol), which is available here for download.

  Interim Release Protocol (135.8 KiB, 1,062 hits)
DEC/DEP Interim Ashokan Release Protocol

  Water Quality Monitoring for Releases (68.7 KiB, 995 hits)
Water Quality Monitoring Plan for Release Channel Operations

The Lower Esopus Watershed Partnership, as part of the Ashokan Release Working Group, is compiling comments on the protocol from participating municipalities to provide DEC and DEP with feedback.

The protocol includes provisions for community beneficial releases, flood mitigation releases, and turbidity control releases. The interim protocol is driving recent reservoir releases as the DEP aims for a 90% Conditional Seasonal Storage Objective outlined in the protocol to create a void in the reservoir for flood mitigation and turbidity control. Since storms Irene and Lee filled the reservoir with turbid runoff, recent releases in the lower Esopus Creek have been noticeably turbid with fine colloidal clay sediment.