This is a recap of the CFMC meeting of May 28th where the DEP did show up and afterwards is this weeks Riverdale Report from the Bronx News.
Father Richard Gorman the 2014 Chair of the CFMC had 9 items of business on the agenda with items 4, 5, and 6 being the meat and most important. Item # 4 was a presentation by the DEP on DEP's "Water For The Future." This was presented by Associate DEP Commissioner Matthew Mahoney.
Mr. Mahoney began with a history of how the New York City Water supply came about before and after World War II. The Catskill/Delaware system supplying most of the NYC water goes through the limestone and is steel reinforced in certain sections. However at the time of WW II steel became precious in the war effort. He then mentioned that the system has to be repaired very soon due to several leaks in the supply line. Mr. Mahoney said that a several mile by-pass is being built so that one major leak can be repaired in Ulster County. With other leaks that will also have to be fixed NYC could loose up to 50% of its water supply. To make up for this water shortfall The DEP is going to use ground wells in Brooklyn and Queens where they will use up to 30 million gallons a day filtering the water at various scattered sites in the two boroughs since that water had not meet federal drinking water standards many years ago.
The DEP will also use the Croton Water System which has not been used for consumption for many years due to a federal mandate to filter that water, once the Van Cortlandt Park Water Filtration Plant is completed, soon he said. While this is all going on the Jerome Park Reservoir will go through some badly needed maintenance including repairing the east wall that DEP has said is crumbling. Questions of why the JPR maintenance was not done the past several years as it lay empty waiting for the construction of the VCPWFP were answered by Assistant DEP Commissioner Matthew Mahoney simply, "I Don't Know." Mr. Mahoney also said that this work must be done by 2022.
Item # 5 was on the scope work already done at JPR including the removal of over 150 trees on the earthen berm of the reservoir that DEP said was compromising the integrity of the berm and had the Parks Department remove. DEP is now reneging on its verbal promise to replace the trees, and says that the Parks Department is now responsible for some since the trees were on Parkland and not DEP land. I asked Mr. Mahoney if all the work on the berm was done, or might we see more trees cut down. His answer was that DEP will have to check the site to make sure, and he could not rule out any more trees being cut down.
Item # 6 was on the new entrance to VCP that DEP wants to construct at East 213th Street and Jerome Avenue for use by their vehicles, and the possible need for "Alienation of Parkland due to Closure of Access Road in VCP." DEP claimed that it is a shared roadway for the golf course that is being rebuilt, and also for the Parks Department so the DEP can close the current entrance at Bainbridge Avenue. The construction by DEP has already started on the new road, and there is a large healthy tree right in the middle of the entrance that will have to be removed by the DEP. The next CFMC meeting is scheduled for Tuesday June 20th 7 PM at the DEP office located on Jerome Avenue opposite the site of the Van Cortlandt Park Water Filtration Plant.