FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE00-17
of Environmental Protection Announces New York City's Enhanced Beach
New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner
Joel A. Miele Sr., P.E. today announced the start of this year's Enhanced
Beach Protection Program (EBPP). The EBPP is designed to heighten
monitoring of wastewater infrastructure near City beaches during summer
months, minimizing chances of malfunctions that could cause beach
closures. The EBPP supplements DEP's regular monitoring of harbor
waters, which assesses the quality of open waters surrounding New
York City year-round.
"We are very much aware of the importance of preventing beach
closures during the summer recreational season," said Commissioner
Miele. "We are proud that New York City's beaches have seen remarkable
improvements over the last ten years. DEP's Enhanced Beach Protection
Program supplements our already comprehensive monitoring efforts by
increasing surveillance and preventative maintenance of wastewater
collection facilities critical to the protection of City beaches."
Commissioner Miele noted that, "As the beach going season commences,
DEP is taking extra precautions to inspect and maintain these critical
facilities to ensure the continued quality of the City's bathing waters
and uninterrupted enjoyment of City beaches."
The EBPP was initiated in July 1997. Building upon the goals of
the 1997 through 1999 programs, the EBPP 2000 will:
- increase surveillance and preventative maintenance of sewage pumping
stations and regulators;
- perform shoreline surveillance of sewer outfalls; and
- analyze wastewater treatment facilities and sewage bypasses that
are common during wet weather when sewage flow exceeds storage volume
or treatment capacity.
The goal of the EBPP is to minimize beach closures by shortening
sewage bypass detection time, duration, and volume. The results of
the 1999 EBPP show that the program successfully eliminated beach
closures and significantly reduced the amount of sewage bypassed.
As in previous years, the EBPP 2000 will emphasize increased monitoring
of facilities critical to reducing or eliminating dry-weather bypasses,
and increased surveillance and monitoring of harbor waters by DEP's
Marine Sciences unit. In addition, this year the EBPP 2000 is expected
to improve upon the success of previous seasons. The Program will
be in effect during the warm weather months, from May 26 through September
In July, DEP expects to release its annual New York Harbor Water
Quality Survey, a comprehensive report on the effectiveness of the
City's water pollution control programs and their combined impact
on water quality.