Bronx Council for Environmental Quality (BCEQ) sends a Five Point Demand Letter to the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) for the Harlem River Long Term Control Plan (LTCP) for Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) and Municipal Separate Stormwater Sewer System (MS4).
The DEP has neglected the Harlem River. It is the area with the biggest Tier 1 CSO outfall, the only one with documented dry weather discharges, and is among the largest sub-catchment areas in the City. Signs of decay never abated, making it more difficult to bring water quality to how it is used, that is swimmable/fishable.
Clearly, the drastic size of this problem should have made it among the number one places to start – if there was a serious attempt to comply with the Clean Water Act. By this letter, BCEQ is putting the DEP on notice that an unsafe and unhealthy condition exists, and it is your responsibility to plan and implement solutions to these serious problems. In order to ensure the Public Health, and on behalf of the half million West Bronx residents, we urge immediate and expedited action for the Harlem River. This is an urgent demand to continue on the path of the current CSO Consent Decree, and arrange meetings for the plans to start now to be completed by December 2017 as agreed.
For more than twenty years, the Bronx Council for Environmental Quality (BCEQ) has led successful efforts to clean the waterways in the Bronx. For the last fifteen years, BCEQ has focused specifically on clean water for the Harlem River, an area with the highest poverty and asthma rates in the nation. (www.bceq.org )
In the DEP Web Page, Read the current 2012 Order on Consent for the Citywide Long Term Control Plan which includes the Hudson, East and Harlem Rivers at Appendix A, page 23 of 23:
In the NY Times article For New York’s Foulest Waterways, a Seat of Dubious Honor, By COREY KILGANNON on OCT. 14, 2016 given this year to the Bronx Kill of the Harlem River. (http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/15/nyregion/for-new-yorks-foulest-waterways-a-seat-of-dubious-honor.html?_r=0)