New York City Department of Environmental Protection
|Jurisdiction||New York City|
|Headquarters||59-17 Junction Boulevard Elmhurst, Queens|
|Agency executive||Emily Lloyd, Commissioner|
|Parent agency||New York City|
The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (NYCDEP) manages the city's water supply, providing more than 1.1 billion US gallons (4,200,000 m3) of water each day to more than 9 million residents (including 8 million in the City of New York) through a complex network of nineteen reservoirs, three controlled lakes and 6,000 miles (9,700 km) of water mains, tunnels and aqueducts. DEP is also responsible for managing the city's combined sewer system, which carries both storm water runoff and sanitary waste, and fourteen wastewater treatment plants located throughout the city. DEP carries out federal Clean Water Act rules and regulations, handles hazardous materials emergencies and toxic site remediation, oversees asbestos monitoring and removal, enforces the city's air and noise codes, bills and collects on city water and sewer accounts, and manages citywide water conservation programs.
On February 18, 2014, Emily Lloyd was appointed by Mayor Bill de Blasio for the second time as Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Protection. Other former Commissioners include: Frank McArdle (1978–81), Joe McGough (1982-86), Harvey Schultz (1986–89), Albert Appleton (1990-93), Marilyn Gerber (1994–96), Joel Miele (1996-2002), Christopher Ward (2002–04), Caswell F. Holloway (2009-2011) and Carter H. Strickland, Jr. (2011-2014). Commissioners are appointed for three-year terms.
NYCDEP manages three upstate supply systems to provide the city's drinking water: the Croton system, the Catskill system, and the Delaware system. The overall distribution system has a storage capacity of 550 billion US gallons (2.1×109 m3) and provides over 1 billion US gallons (3,800,000 m3) per day of high quality drinking water to more than eight million city residents and another one million users in four upstate counties bordering on the water supply system. The distribution system is made up of an extensive grid of water mains stretching approximately 6,600 miles (10,600 km).
The city's wastewater is collected through an extensive grid of sewer pipes of various sizes and stretching over 7,500 miles (12,100 km). The Bureau of Wastewater Treatment operates 14 water pollution control plants treating and average of 1.5 billion US gallons (5,700,000 m3) of wastewater a day; 96 wastewater pump stations: 8 dewatering facilities; and 490 sewer regulators.
(mgd / km3d)*
|26th Ward||Eastern Brooklyn||85 / 320||Jamaica Bay|
|Bowery Bay||Northeast Queens||150 / 570||Upper East River|
|Coney Island||South & Central Brooklyn||110 / 420||Jamaica Bay|
|Hunts Point||Eastern Bronx||200 / 760||Upper East River|
|Jamaica||Southern Queens||100 / 380||Jamaica Bay|
|Newtown Creek||Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens||310 / 1,200||East River|
|North River||Manhattan||170 / 640||Hudson River|
|Oakwood Beach||Staten Island||39.9 / 151||Lower New York Bay|
|Rockaway||Queens||45 / 170||Jamaica Bay|
|Owls Head||Brooklyn||120 / 450||Upper New York Bay|
|Wards Island||Bronx & Manhattan||275 / 1,040||Upper East River|
|Tallman Island||Queens||80 / 300||Upper East River|
|Port Richmond||Staten Island||60 / 230||Kill Van Kull|
|Red Hook||Brooklyn & Governor's Island||60 / 230||Lower East River|
* mgd: million gallons per day; km3d: 1,000 cubic meters per day.
Violation of Federal Environmental Laws
The federal government began investigating the DEP in 1998. On August 29, 2001, the DEP pled guilty in federal court to criminal violations of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act & Toxic Substances Control Act, and sentenced to probation. As a condition of probation, the DEP was required to implement an environmental, health & safety compliance program to prevent future environmental law violations and to improve employee safety working conditions.
In 2003, the Office of Environmental, Health & Safety Compliance (EHS) was formed to administer the DEP's comprehensive safety and compliance efforts, which included the EHS Employee Concerns Program.
In 2006, the term of probation was extended and the DEP Bureau of Wastewater Treatment (BWT) was included under the federal monitor's oversight following a discharge of untreated sewage into the East River after emergency generators failed to operate during the August 2003 blackout.
On December 25, 2009, probation and federal oversight of the DEP ended.
Employee Concerns Program
Facilitates DEP employee reporting of observed environmental violations and unsafe employee conditions. Helps employees identify and prevent the harassment and intimidation of co-workers engaged in such activities. - 24/7 confidential employee concerns hotline - contract management plan to quicken execution of safety-related contracts - risk management program
Tiered Audit Program
Rates conditions by priority, enabling the agency to identify and address more than 44,000 specific workplace conditions
Compliance Action Plan
Ensures DEP follows all federal, state and local environmental, health and safety regulations by developing written policies, conducting training, and by purchasing and distributing safety equipment.
Since 2001, DEP has invested about $160 million in environmental health and safety programs.
In 2011, the New York City Water Board appointed Veolia Water to partner with the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) in an effort to identify opportunities to make improvements in every aspect of New York City’s drinking water, sewage collection, and wastewater treatment operations. Veolia Water teamed with McKinsey & Company and Arcadis to provide additional analytical and technical expertise, respectively. The initiative, branded “Operational Excellence (OpX): The Best Always Do Better,” is an opportunity for DEP to take employee ideas and best practices from water utilities across the globe to continue to achieve the agency’s goal of being the "safest, most productive, cost-effective, and transparent water utility in the nation." 
Rather than responding to future financial pressures with budget cuts that might weaken critical services, the OpX initiative makes smart improvements that will increase the strength of DEP operations well into the future. The OpX program aims to streamline workflows, boost efficiency, and continuously identify opportunities for improvements that will allow DEP to maintain its high level of customer service, safety, and productivity while minimizing rate increases for its roughly 836,000 rate-payers. To achieve this, the Commissioner set an ambitious goal for OpX to achieve operating benefits of $100–200 million by 2016.
- NYCDEP. "Bureaus and Offices." Accessed 2009-04-09.
- NYCDEP. "New York City's Wastewater Treatment System." Accessed 2009-04-03.
- http://www.nyc.gov/html/dep/pdf/reports/opx-phase-i-report.pdf/ OpX Phase I Report