Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan Submits Comments to New York State Regarding the DEP’s Lower Esopus Turbid

In his comments, County Executive Pat Ryan states “we can and we must do better” and calls for the DEC to hold the NYC DEP accountable for their actions regarding the turbidity in the Lower Esopus

KINGSTON, N.Y. – Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan today submitted comments to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation regarding the Lower Esopus creek, telling the New York City DEP “we can and must do better” to manage turbidity in the water supply. 

In his comments, County Executive Pat Ryan states, “The [turbid] release protocol should call for the cleanest water available, and capital investments should be considered to increase the range of operating alternatives available to meet those requirements.” Ryan continues, “Above all, we must renew our historic partnership, with an ongoing commitment by the DEP to monitoring and investment in the Lower Esopus Watershed.”

In May, County Executive Ryan joined area business and environmental leaders in calling on NYC DEP to pursue alternatives to turbid releases to the Lower Esopus Creek from the Ashokan Reservoir.

Since late December of 2020, NYC DEP has released billions of gallons of turbid water, containing millions of pounds of sediment. This practice, including the release of this highly turbid water from the Ashokan Reservoir, is currently under review by the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation and the NYC DEP has prepared a Draft Environmental Impact Statement concerning the use of the Ashokan Release Channel.

The Draft Environmental Impact Statement prepared by the NYC DEP regarding the releases to the Lower Esopus can be found on the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation’s website at https://www.dec.ny.gov/lands/79771.html(link is external)(link is external).