News And Updates

 

Hypoxia in Far Western Long Island Sound and Upper East River. 2015 Report

January 24, 2012: IEC RELEASES ITS ANNUAL REPORT FOR THE YEAR 2011, chronicling the advancements made in Tri-State water quality and challenges that remain. IEC’s regional role and contributions are as important as ever and State and federal support appropriations crucial for environmental protection. Press Release

September 26, 2011: HYPOXIA MONITORING IN WESTERN LONG ISLAND SOUND AND THE UPPER EAST RIVER

The Interstate Environmental Commission continues its summer monitoring surveys in western Long Island Sound and the Upper East River to assess hypoxic conditions. The 12th and last weekly run of 2011 was completed on Thursday, September 15th, 2011. The run consisted of visits to 22 ambient water stations. During each visit, in situ measurements were made for pH, temperature, salinity, water clarity (Secchi depth) and dissolved oxygen (DO) at multiple depths. Below are the data from the September 15, 2011 survey.

Dissolved Oxygen levels have remained relatively high, with only one measurement below 3mg/L, at station 8-403 (2.92 mg/L). The highest dissolved oxygen readings were recorded near Hempstead Harbor at stations H-D (9.02 mg/L), H-C (10.30 mg/L), and H-C1 (9.20 mg/L). Extremely strong currents were present at station H-C1.

September 12, 2011: HYPOXIA MONITORING IN WESTERN LONG ISLAND SOUND AND THE UPPER EAST RIVER

The Interstate Environmental Commission continues its summer monitoring surveys in western Long Island Sound and the Upper East River to assess hypoxic conditions. The 11th weekly run of 2011 was completed on Thursday, September 8th 2011. The run consisted of visits to 22 ambient water stations. During each visit, in situ measurements were made for pH, temperature, salinity, water clarity (Secchi depth) and dissolved oxygen (DO) at multiple depths. Below are the data from the 9/08/2011 survey.

Heavy rain from the remnants of Tropical Storm Lee resulted in 1.6" of rain in the 24 hour period prior to the start of the survey, and 3.48" of rain in the 48 hour period preceding the survey, as recorded at LaGuardia Airport. Westchester County Airport and Central Park recorded over 5.5" and 4.5" of rain, respectively, in the preceding 48 hour period. Despite the heavy rain, no significant debris or turbidity was observed in the survey area, and Secchi depth measurements were between 1.2 and 2.1 meters, similar to those recorded during earlier surveys.

Dissolved oxygen concentrations continue to improve, with no measurements below 3.5 mg/L. The lowest DO reading of the survey was 3.52 mg/L at station A2M (East of Throg's Neck Bridge), at a depth of 30.5 meters. The previous week's survey (9/01/11) had a low DO reading of 2.81 mg/L. The highest DO reading recorded was 5.79 mg/L at the surface of station 9-413 (Manhasset Bay). A total of 22 measurements at 11 stations were above 5.0 mg/L, in contrast to the previous week, when a total of 11 measurements above 5.0 mg/L were recorded across 8 stations.

September 2, 2011: HYPOXIA MONITORING IN WESTERN LONG ISLAND SOUND AND THE UPPER EAST RIVER
The Interstate Environmental Commission continues its summer monitoring surveys in western Long Island Sound and the Upper East River to assess hypoxic conditions. The tenth weekly run of 2011 was completed on Thursday, September 1st 2011. The run consisted of visits to 22 ambient water stations. During each visit, in situ measurements were made for pH, temperature, salinity, water clarity (Secchi depth) and dissolved oxygen (DO) at multiple depths. Below are the data from the 9/01/2011 survey.

Hypoxic conditions seem to have dissipated after Hurricane Irene. Only one station, 8-403 (Little Neck Bay) had a DO reading below 3.0 mg/L, and this was the bottom depth reading. DO levels showed relatively little variation throughout the water column and across stations, with the majority of readings between 3.0 mg/L and 4.0 mg/L and a few surface readings above 5.0 mg/L. The highest DO readings were taken at the surface of stations H-C (6.99 mg/L) and H-D (5.92 mg/L) in Hempstead Harbor. Floating debris was highly localized, with Stations HA-3 (Delancey Point) and B2 (Matinecock Point) toward the north side of the Sound having large amount of debris (wood stumps and branches). An 8' tree branch was pulled out of the water near station A3 (Hewlett Point).

August 30, 2011: HYPOXIA MONITORING IN WESTERN LONG ISLAND SOUND AND THE UPPER EAST RIVER
The Interstate Environmental Commission continues its summer monitoring surveys in western Long Island Sound and the Upper East River to assess hypoxic conditions. The eighth weekly run of 2011 was completed on Friday August 19th and the ninth run completed on Thursday August 25th. Both runs consisted of visits to 22 ambient water stations. During each visit, in situ measurements were made for pH, temperature, salinity, water clarity (Secchi depth) and dissolved oxygen (DO) at multiple depths. Attached are the data from both the August 19th and August 25th survey. Stations/depths where dissolved oxygen readings were less than 3.0 mg/L are highlighted in the spreadsheets.

Hypoxic conditions continued, especially in bottom waters, as well as throughout the water column at station A2M (just East of Throgs Neck Bridge), and throughout the deepest half of the water column at A4 (mid-channel just east of Sands Point) and A3 (Hewlett Point). The lowest DO reading of the season, 0.17mg/L was recorded on 8/25 at station H-C (Hempstead Harbor). Our next survey will be completed this Thursday, 9/01/11. It will be interesting to see the effects Hurricane Irene has had on WLIS hypoxia and water quality.

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August 26, 2011: Hurricane Irene Advisories:
ALL NYC Beaches Closed as of 6PM August 26th. Shellfish areas in New York and New Jersey are similarly closed. Major Flooding expected along the Long Island Sound. Please visit State-Agency websites through our links for all advisories.


From the New York City Department of Environmental Protection:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 11-63

July 21, 2011
Contact:
Farrell Sklerov / Michael Saucier (718) 595-6600

Update on North River Wastewater Treatment Plant Fire and Impacts
Overview of Incident
The North River Wastewater Treatment Plant was taken offline yesterday afternoon following a four-alarm fire in the engine room that started at approximately 11:45 am. Starting around 5:15 pm yesterday, untreated wastewater started to be directly discharged into the Hudson River and continues at this time as the plant remains offline. The North River plant has been in operation since 1986 and treats on average 120 million gallons of wastewater a day from Manhattan's west side above Bank Street and northern Manhattan.

Status of Plant Operations
DEP is working as quickly as possible to get the plant running again. DEP staff and contractors are inside the facility assessing damage, performing cleanup activities and working toward re-energizing the facility, which is the first step toward bringing the plant online. The estimated time to bring the plant back online is undetermined. In order to minimize the discharge from the plant, DEP is performing some small "pump arounds"--pumping wastewater flow out of an 84-inch sewer at West 117th St. in Manhattan that normally flows to the plant and pumping into a 42-inch sewer at Frederick Douglass Boulevard and 117th, which flows to the Wards Island Wastewater Treatment Plant. DEP is also applying chlorine to some sewer outfalls near the plant to reduce the bacteria in the untreated wastewater discharges.

Environmental, Health and Community Impacts

Water quality modeling indicates that there is no immediate impact to permitted beaches due to the dilution capacity of the river. Based on recommendations from NYC Health, the Hudson River, the East River from the Robert F. Kennedy Bridge to Verrazano Bridge and the Harlem River will not be fit for recreational activities such as swimming, canoeing, kayaking, windsurfing or any other water activity that would entail possible direct contact now through at least Sunday. The New York City Police Department Harbor Unit will be patrolling near the plant to ensure boaters keep a proper distance. The city Parks Department is restricting access to the river at the 79th Street Boat Basin and placing signs prohibiting kayaking, canoeing and other recreational activities from all city boat launch sites along the Hudson River and other appropriate sites. The Hudson River Park Trust as well as the Battery Park City Authorities is also installing similar signs at sites under their jurisdiction.

DEP and the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene are currently taking samples in the harbor and at permitted beaches that could potentially be impacted. Beaches remain open at this time and for the most up-to-date information, go to the NYC Health website at www.nyc.gov/health, www.nyc.gov/dep, or call 311. Individuals can also receive proactive alerts by signing up through 311 for Notify NYC, the city's official source for information about emergency events and important city services. Riverbank State Park, located atop the treatment plant, remains closed until further notice. Westchester County and New Jersey DEP are also performing water sampling and water flow modeling to determine any impacts on their rivers and beaches.

DEP will continue to provide routine updates on the status of the plant's operations and public health impacts.

Kate Boicourt
Restoration Coordinator
New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission
NY-NJ Harbor Estuary Program Office
290 Broadway
New York, NY 10007
T: 212-637-3869
Fax: 212-637-3889



New York, January 24, 2011:
The Interstate Environmental Commission releases its 2010 Annual Report and 2010 Annual Report In Brief highlighting programs to assure continued improvement of the environment in the region. Download Reports


NYS DEC Awards IEC Clean Water Act (CWA) Section 604(b) Funds Through the ARRA to Support Three Water Quality Projects
(Press release at http://www.dec.ny.gov/lands/58603.html)

The Interstate Environmental Commission is the recipient of three funding awards from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation to support water quality planning projects as part of Clean Water Act (CWA) Section 604(b) funds made available through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).

This support will further the Commission’s vital role in water quality monitoring and planning to assist our member state agencies and environmental stakeholders in the federal government. The funded projects will bring benefits to our waterways throughout the district. Projects include a water quality monitoring and modeling of the Byram River, a collaborative surveying and mapping effort with the Croton-Kensico Watershed Intermunicipal Coalition to develop a regional stormwater map, and funding to support a Long Island-wide MS4 stormwater planning coordinator.

 


 

Project Name: MS4 Survey of the Croton-Kensico Watershed, Westchester County, New York

Project Description: The Interstate Environmental Commission (IEC) will collaborate with the Croton-Kensico Watershed Intermunicipal Coalition to develop a regional stormwater map.

  1. Identify a subwatershed that covers land area in at least two municipalities. Identify known and suspected outfalls, catch basins, stormwater manholes, stormwater swales and other components of the municipal storm sewer system within the Croton-Kensico Watershed.

  2. Obtain mapping standards. Map stormwater features, catch basins, drain inlets, outfalls or stormwater conveyances within the subwatershed area.

Project Name: Water Quality Monitoring and Modeling of the Byram River

Project Description: The Interstate Environmental Commission (IEC) will perform ambient sampling during wet and dry weather along the Byram River to assess water quality of the river and the watershed. A minimum of three dry weather and three wet weather events will be sampled. A GIS-based watershed planning tool will also be implemented to: 1) help design specific flow and water quality monitoring programs; 2) prioritize sub-basins that contribute significant nutrient and pathogen loads; and 3) identify green infrastructure projects ready to be funded.

Project Name: Long Island MS4 Phase II Planning ( LI-MS4 Planning) Program

Project Description: Provide Long Island-wide MS4 stormwater management planning assistance by using a combination of workshops, presentations, site visits, workgroups and in-depth consultations as provided for by the New York State Sea Grant Long Island - MS4 Planning Program. This program is currently delivered by Eileen Keenan. Work will include assisting over 100 municipalities with planning, implementing, evaluating and documenting their stormwater programs. Also, supporting further inter-municipal stormwater programs will be a priority.

 




IEC collaborates on Environmental Justice Conference: May 8, 2009. Conference information:


Environmental Justice: Issues, History & Outlook l Knowledge = Justice l Conference Info

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