New York DEC Weekly Updates and Invasive Species Information

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This Week's Updates:

  • HABs Summits Announced
  • Septic System Replacement Program
  • Pilot Drug "Take-Back" Participants Announced
  • Staff Profile Features Division of Water Employee
  • NOAA Coastal Resilience Grants

Regional Harmful Algal Bloom Summits Announced

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced the dates and locations of four regional summits supporting the state's comprehensive effort to protect vulnerable lakes and waterbodies in Upstate New York from harmful algal blooms (HABs). The summits are part of the $65 million four-point initiative unveiled in the Governor's 2018 State of the State to aggressively combat HABs.

Each of the four summits will include an evening session that is open to the public where background information about HABs will be provided. The sessions will include talks by experts, a panel discussion and an opportunity for local residents to share recommendations and ideas.

Summit Evening Session Dates and Locations:

Septic System Replacement Program

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced a comprehensive $75 million program to improve water quality through the targeted replacement of aging septic systems in communities across New York. Through a collaboration between the State Departments of Environmental Conservation and Health, and the Environmental Facilities Corporation, the state will support the new program in 31 counties with $15 million during its first year. Funds will be provided to counties to reimburse eligible property owners for a portion of the cost of replacing failing septic systems and installing more environmentally effective systems.

Second Round of Participants in Pilot Drug “Take-Back” Program Announced

DEC announced the second group of participants in the State's $2 million Pilot Pharmaceutical Take-Back Program. Participants include 172 retail pharmacies, hospitals, and long-term care facilities across the state. Under the drug take-back program, DEC will purchase medication collection boxes and pay for the disposal of waste pharmaceuticals collected by participating facilities for two years. Implementation of this pilot program will help improve water quality, protect public health by removing medications from home medicine cabinets, and reduce potential adverse impacts to fish and aquatic organisms.

The pilot program is open and accepting new applications. Retail pharmacies, hospitals, and long-term care facilities are encouraged to enroll online at the Pilot Pharmaceutical Take-Back Program webpage.

“On the Front Lines” Staff Profile Features Division of Water Employee

DEC’s new “On the Front Lines” staff profile features Division of Water Environmental Program Specialist Vince Spadaro. Vince works primarily on the State Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (SPDES) permit program, and serves as Region 5’s Flood Program Coordinator. In addition, he partners with the National Weather Service on the Adirondack Snow Survey project, calculating snow depths in the winter to help predict potential floods during the spring thaw. Click on the video to learn how Vince is helping protect our environment and people in the Adirondacks.

NOAA Coastal Resilience Grants

Up to $15 million may be awarded for coastal resilience projects under the 2018 National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Coastal Resilience Grants, available for projects that strengthen coastal communities and ecosystems, improving their resilience to extreme weather or other adverse events. New projects will require a pre-proposal and should focus on resilience through habitat restoration. Funding may also be awarded to projects that strengthen coastal communities, and will be chosen from last year’s high scoring proposals. The closing date for pre-proposals is March 7, 2018.