Friends of the Croton Watershed

February 18, 1997 Statement

The Friends of the Croton Watershed (FCW) has presented to the Town Board of Yorktown an updated version of the 25-year-old law regarding watershed facilities. The FCW called attention to the deficiencies in the law last year. Since no action has been taken the law attached was proposed. This strengthening of the law is needed to safeguard the environment and to protect citizens through the regulation of the construction and operation of watershed facilities.

The recently signed Watershed Agreement notes that the City is under a stipulation to filter the Croton Watershed. The widely reported five-year delay for a decision regarding a filtration plant applies only to the Catskill-Delaware system. The DEP is still planning the construction of a 600 million to one billion dollar filtration plant for the Croton Watershed. Yorktown, in the Croton Watershed, is on the shortlist of sites.

The FCW (in agreement with the Friends of the Jerome Park Reservoir, the Bronx Water Alliance and the Sierra Club among others) believe that longterm protection of the Watershed is a better option than creating a huge, expensive industrial site anywhere in the Watershed. It is more sensible to protect the Croton Watershed than to filter the water after we pollute it.

The water from the Croton currently meets all federal standards. If the filtration plant is built anywhere in the Watershed, there will be no incentive to protect the Watershed and it will be allowed to degrade. We get our water from the Croton Watershed and any degradation will affect us directly.

The FCW opposes the option of filtration but recognizes the need to be prepared in case the plant is built in Yorktown. The DEP is not exempt from local laws. All laws need active and forceful enforcement. Laws concerning the Watershed are no different. Our town and our citizens need to be protected.

The Friends of the Croton Watershed is a grassroots organization devoted to improving our Watershed through environmentally sound alternatives to filtration. We are working to strengthen our environmental laws and to see that they are enforced.