Regulatory Programs

FAD Section 6.1 - Watershed Rules and Regulations and Other Enforcement/Project Review

2007 FAD Requirements

Section 6.1 of the 2007 FAD listed seven activity or reporting requirements for the Watershed Rules and Regulations (WR&Rs) and Other Enforcement/Project Review Program. The 2007 FAD required the City, with the assistance of NYSDOH and NYSDEC, to administer the City's WR&Rs and other enforcement or project review commitments as specified in Section 2.5.1 of the City's 2006 Long-Term Watershed Protection Program. Included in the requirements of this program: the City was to review Best Management Practice (BMP) monitoring data and performance and revise guidance for preparation of storm water pollution prevention plans (SWPPPs) as appropriate, coordinate with NYSDEC and the State's Attorney General's Office (OAG) on enforcement of storm water regulations, and develop a timeline for revision of NYC's 1997 WR&Rs.

Evaluation of the NYC Water System's Performance

The City has reviewed BMP monitoring data and continued to refine assumptions used to select appropriate BMPs; has emphasized non-structural BMPs such as riparian buffers; and has encouraged innovative site designs to mitigate effects of construction. In addition, the City is developing a guidance document to assist applicants undertaking regulated activities in complying with the storm water provisions of the WR&Rs. This document is in the process of being completed. The period for public comment on the document ended July 8, 2011.

The Storm Water Enforcement Coordination Committee, which includes representatives from the City, NYSDEC, OAG, NYSDOH, and EPA, meets semi-annually to coordinate on storm water enforcement issues in the watershed. These meetings help ensure consistent and efficient enforcement of both City and State storm water regulations.

Amendments to the 1997 NYC WR&Rs were finalized and adopted into the City's rules on April 4, 2010. Among the revisions to the WR&Rs: NYSDEC's standards for their General Permit for Stormwater Discharges from Construction Activity, Permit No. GP-0-10-001, have been incorporated into the requirements for SWPPPs required by the City; a variance will be allowed, under certain conditions, for siting new wastewater treatment plants or expanding wastewater treatment plants that discharge to surface water in the Croton system within a 60-day travel time to a City intake; and the definition for "phosphorus-restricted basin" has been changed from 20 mg/L to 15 mg/L for NYC source water reservoir basins.

The NYC WR&Rs serve as the backbone to the City's watershed protection program. The City continues to actively enforce its WR&Rs, working in coordination with other regulatory agencies, to maximize effectiveness of this important protection tool.

FAD Section 6.2 - Wastewater Treatment Plant Inspection Program

2007 FAD Requirements

As outlined in its 2006 Long-Term Watershed Protection Program and the 2007 FAD (Sections 2.5.2 and 6.2, respectively), the City, with the assistance of NYSDEC, administers the Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) Inspection Program. The Program is comprised of on-site inspections, monitoring of and assistance with SPDES compliance, and necessary enforcement actions associated with noncompliance.

The 2007 FAD requires that WWTP monitoring results are submitted to EPA and NYSDEC on a quarterly basis, along with inspection reports. In addition, enforcement actions against noncomplying facilities are required to be taken in a timely and appropriate manner, with a quarterly reporting process via the Watershed Enforcement Coordination Committee (WECC). The FAD also requires the City to conduct annually at least four on-site inspections for all year-round SPDES-permitted facilities and at least two on-site inspections of all seasonal SPDES facilities. All inspection summaries and monitoring data with inspection reports are submitted to NYSDOH, EPA and NYSDEC either quarterly (the former) or annually (the latter). In addition, the 2007 FAD stipulates that technical assistance, operators' training, and certification are provided to the WWTP operators on as-needed basis, with summary reports submitted to NYSDOH and EPA annually.

Evaluation of the NYC Water System's Performance

The program continues to be successfully implemented since its inception. All milestone requirements and due dates have been met during the reporting period. In fact, quite frequently the City goes above and beyond the requirements to assure that all WWTPs discharging in the watershed are meeting their SPDES permit requirements.

As per the 2007 FAD, the City conducts one inspection during each calendar quarter. At a minimum, two inspections per year are conducted at seasonal surface-discharging facilities during the facility's operating season. Similarly, at least two inspections per year are conducted at non-contact cooling water discharges to surface waters, groundwater remediation systems, landfills, and oil/water separators. Treated industrial waste discharges to groundwater, via surface application, are inspected four times per year. In addition, when necessary, the City conducts follow-up inspections. If chronic violations of SPDES permit parameters are occurring, the City, in conjunction with NYSDEC and local health departments, will issue a Notice of Violation and will participate in a Compliance Conference with the owner/operator to discuss problems and possible corrective actions. Following such an enforcement initiative, the City may conduct a periodic follow-up unannounced visit to ensure that the WWTP is continuing in its efforts to remain in compliance.

In addition, the City coordinates enforcement activities with NYSDEC through quarterly WECC meetings, where the status of watershed WWTPs is discussed, and steps are taken to ensure compliance. Staff from NYSDOH, EPA, and the OAG also participate in these collaborative efforts to ensure compliance with regulatory requirements.

Another important component of this program is successfully implemented through technical assistance and WWTP operator training provided by the City. Not only do these outreach efforts improve operation of WWTPs and compliance with their SPDES permits, they also improve cooperation between the regulators and local communities.

NYSDOH and EPA strongly support the continuation of this program, which remains a vital component of source protection for the City's unfiltered water supply.