STATEMENT FROM ULSTER COUNTY EXECUTIVE MIKE HEIN Ulster County Executive Michael P.

Hein offered the following statement in response to the recent release of draft revisions to the New York City Filtration Avoidance Determination (Draft FAD) addressing actions by the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (NYC DEP) issued by New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) in consultation with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA): “My administration has been at the forefront of fighting the history of abuse by the NYC DEP. Congressman Chris Gibson has recently provided us with an earlier version of the FAD document he obtained from the EPA and I want to thank him. What this document proves is nothing short of disgraceful. It shows irrefutable evidence that the Lower Esopus was included in the original FAD document and that the earlier document acknowledged damage caused by NYCDEP’s mismanagement...but after the NYCDEP apparently pressured Albany, the Lower Esopus portion of this document was removed. This is Proof Positive that the NYC DEP routinely uses its grossly disproportionate influence in an attempt to manipulate the regulatory process. There is no question that in order to cut costs and avoid their responsibilities the NYC DEP is attempting to sell the interests of the people who live, work and play along the Lower Esopus in Ulster County down the river and we will not accept this. The FAD, which was released over a year late, was apparently constructed to adapt to NY City’s budgetary constraints and not to address the actual environmental and economic development impacts of their actions. While the NYCDEP touts that it has spent $1.5 billion over the past 20 years, the fact remains NYCDEP is avoiding billions of dollars of costs through filtration avoidance. So not only are we calling for an end to the closed door process used to develop the draft FAD but we are also calling for public hearings which we will gladly arrange and host here in UlsterCounty. The substantive concerns of residents and businesses in Ulster County who are directly impacted by NYCDEP’s water supply operations must be addressed. Meaningful participation in developing regulations that will impact our local communities for the next five years is crucial. At this time major changes need to be made to the Draft FAD to address the glaring omissions in this document and the continued narrow focus on the interests of water supply protection to the exclusion of the needs of Ulster County communities. Most importantly, the current document fails to address the unacceptable dumping of turbid water into the Lower Esopus Creek. Since 2009, New York City has repeatedly violated the federal Clean Water Act in using the Lower Esopus Creek as its waste channel for large volumes of highly turbid water. New York City has addressed its ongoing issues with excessive turbidity in the Catskill System by dumping its turbid water on communities below its reservoir. In addition to harming the environment, the releases have damaged downstream properties, hurt local agricultural operations, and disrupted downstream recreational and business activities. The releases-- along with stifling watershed regulations on development-- have essentially shifted the real costs of New York City’s filtration avoidance to Ulster County residents and businesses, a fact which is largely ignored and unaddressed by the Draft FAD. This behind-the-scenes shuffle to gut critical protections and mitigation for the Lower Esopusis a slap

in the face to homeowners along this waterway and a betrayal of the public trust. We are therefore calling for this document to be completely overhauled to acknowledge the real cost of NYC DEP's impacts as well as the dangers associated with climate change. I also urge New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYS DEC) to release the Order on Consent regarding the Lower Esopus discharges. It is critically important that our local communities know how this Consent Order and the Draft FAD will impact them. We have no assurance at this point that our communities will be protected. These releases, and other critical issues such as increased flood mitigation measures, should be included in the final FAD. This would ensure that the interests of Ulster County residents are given equal weight to those of the New York City residents who currently benefit from a water supply hosted and subsidized by watershed communities that continue to experience economic and tax losses from New York City land acquisitions and restrictive land-use regulations. The finalization of the Draft FAD is a critical and historic opportunity for communities inUlster County and all those impacted by New York City’s water supply to have a real seat at the table in developing the rules governing the filtration avoidance. We need to significantly improve the Draft FAD and prevent this culture of abuse from not happening again. To do this, I am also calling for a new Memorandum of Agreement that requires us to have a seat at the table, and requires NYC to address the increased costs to businesses, their failure to pay their fair share of taxes, and creates a new culture of collaboration. In addition to citing the exclusion of the Lower Esopus turbidity issues in the Draft Revised FAD, the County Executive also highlighted additional shortcomings, including the following: • The Draft Revised FAD acknowledges the historic flooding events of 2011 caused NYCDEP to rethink the priorities of the FAD to more significantly address flood mitigation. Unfortunately, this consideration does not extend to reservoir operations or the flooding experienced by downstream communities. It should include technical evaluation of reservoir voids, assessment of the flood protection role they could provide to downstream communities, and programmatic assistance to the Lower Esopus. • The document grossly under represents the impacts of reservoir operations on downstream communities. • A comprehensive assessment of engineering alternatives to the current artificially concentrated turbid water dumps down the Lower Esopus needs to be included. • The Draft Revised FAD continues the status quo by calling for meeting and reviews which do not include local representatives. For example, meetings required by the Revised FAD to review turbidity control measures include NYCDEP, NYSDEC, NYSDOH and the Attorney General’s Office but excludes County and local representatives. The review process also ignores the significant change to Ulster County’s form of government in 2008, which created a County Executive position, to provide a single voice for all 183,000 people of Ulster County. • The Draft Revised FAD fails to provide funding for local governments to participate in the complex regulatory process controlled by the NYCDEP.

• The Draft Revised FAD fails to address the impacts associated with the proposed shutdown of the Catskill Aqueduct or greater reliance on the Delaware System during incidences of high turbidity and the potential for additional release to the Lower Esopus. • With turbidity in the Catskill system considered one of the biggest threats to filtration avoidance, the Draft fails to allocate sufficient funding to address this problem through alternatives that do not cause negative impacts on local communities. ###

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