Tag Archives: esopus creek

Volume of Ashokan releases decreased today

The Ashokan Release Channel was decreased today from 600 MGD (Million Gallons per Day) to approximately 300 MGD. The decreases were made in approximately 40 MGD increments starting at 11:30AM and completed at 3:00PM.

After months of high volume releases, the Ashokan Reservoir finally reached the Conditional Seasonal Storage Objective of 90% capacity, which allows for a 10% void for flood mitigation.

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)

Upcoming Public Forum with County Exec and DEP

On Monday, January 23, 2012, Ulster County Executive Mike Hein will host a public forum with New York City Department of Environmental Protection about area concerns including turbid releases into Esopus Creek. The County Executive will be joined by other upstate leaders, NYC DEP representatives and New York State Department of Environmental Conservation senior staff. The event will offer attendees the opportunity to have their voices heard and to ask important questions. The forum is scheduled for 6:00PM on January the 23rd at the John Quimby Theater at Ulster County Community College in Stone Ridge.

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, 1,256 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…

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, 1,092 hits)
DEC/DEP Interim Ashokan Release Protocol

  Water Quality Monitoring for Releases (68.7 KiB, 1,020 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.