The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today notified the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) that it must include the Lower Esopus Creek on its 2012 List of Impaired Waters. This decision is significant because the listing of the Lower Esopus will impose a legal obligation on the DEC to take action to address turbidity levels in the Creek.
Riverkeeper initially sought such a listing in a September 2011 petition to DEC. The release of highly turbid, muddy water from the Ashokan Reservoir continues to impair water quality in the Lower Esopus.
Riverkeeper encouraged its members and, working with local partners in Ulster County, the public to support the EPA’s September 2012 proposal to require the listing of the Lower Esopus as impaired. Hundreds sent comments in support of this decision.