Sunday, December 31, 2017

100 PERCENT December 31, 2017

By Robert Press

Looking Ahead to 2018

  As of tomorrow January 1st, Melissa Mark-Viverito will no longer be the speaker of the City Council, and she will no longer be a member of the City Council. There will be a new speaker chosen from the members which were elected in the 2017 general election. As of the end of 2017 the new Speaker of the City Council should be Councilman Corey Johnson of Manhattan. Speaker Johnson will owe his new post to the Queens and Bronx Democratic County Leaders, Congressman Joe Crowley of Queens, and Assemblyman Marcos Crespo of the Bronx. So what will the Bronx and Queens be rewarded with?

 I for one look to see a major council committee such as the Land Use Committee going to current Bronx Councilwoman Vanessa Gibson. I also look for a plum committee for Councilman Rafael Salamanca. New Councilman Ruben Diaz Sr. could wind up with the Aging Committee, while the rest of the Bronx delegation either keep their current committee chairs or move up a notch or two in the standings. As for the other new Bronx Councilman, there is no reading on where he may wind up yet. One thing is for sure though, his name is Mark Gjonaj not Mark Gjonah, as new Councilman Ruben Diaz Sr. spells it. 

  As for the two open seats in the Bronx now, the 32rd State Senate District and the 80th Assembly District, it will be a game of waiting for a special election to be called or not. Odds are since there another local vacant State Senate seat (Westchester County) of which both were in Democratic control there are those who think a special election will be called by the governor. However there is always the chance of the vacant Westchester County State Senate seat going Republican, and that is why I do not think a special election being called. 

  87th A.D. Assemblyman Luis Sepulveda had already announced that he would be running for the vacant 32nd State Senate seat before it even became vacant. Sepulveda even did away with his main competition that he would of had in the election to fill the vacant seat by getting former (as of January first) Councilwoman Annabel Palma a position in the de Blasio administration as a Deputy Commissioner of Homeless Services. Now with a clear path to the 32nd State Senate Seat, and the only thing that can stop Assemblyman Sepulveda is if no special election is called. That would mean that Speulveda would have to decide if he was to keep his assembly seat or run for the state senate in the September primary. Then again Sepulveda could call his friend Mayor Bill de Blasio to see if the mayor could convince Governor Cuomo to call a special election. 

 As for the 80th Assembly District, there are several local players jockeying for positions. If the former Chief of Staff to former Assemblyman Gjonaj currently working as the Bronx liaison to Governor Andrew Cuomo, Nathalia Fernandez runs that race should be over before it starts. 

 All of the above may happen even before the mid-term Congressional election, and September Bronx Democratic Primary which is the real election here in the Bronx. 

 Surprises to look for in the upcoming election season - A possible challenge to Congressman Jose Serrano. After all the Democratic County Leader of Queens is a Congressman not a State Assemblyman. 
- The possible retirement of a long time Bronx assemblyman, and the possible fight for his seat in the East Bronx.
- The coming up of a North West Bronx District Leader.
- Lastly, has there been peace made with a certain State Senator, and it is not the one you are thinking of. 

 This column was written on December 31, 2017. If you have any comments about this column you can e-mail Mr. Robert Press.

Happy New Year, it's going to be a fun political year.

Saturday, December 30, 2017


  You Should know that there was a fire where twelve people lost their lives because according to   The City of New York Fire Department a door that was supposed to be closed was left open allowing the fire to spread quickly. 

You should also know that The New York City Fire Department reported that this tragedy that occurred Thursday night is the worst since the Happy Land fire over twenty-five (25) years ago. 

The New York City Fire Department also reported that this tragedy was preventable with the help of an inexpensive hardware item.  This item is an automatic interior door closer, which was missing, from the apartment doors within this building at a cost of $118.00. 

Understandably, as the fire spread tenants opened their doors and windows, causing a rush of oxygen making the fire spread in moments. 

Right now, no one knows for certain how many such apartments exist within the City of New York with the same problem.  Yes, it is a time to grieve and honor the heroes such as the Army soldier Emmanuel Mensah. However, wouldn't we honor his heroic memory better, if we could prevent such future occurrences? 

 First, we need to know the extent of the problem, hence I hope the Mayor IMMEDIATELY sets up a toll-free number within the NY City Building Department (DOB).   

This was done back in 1993, by then-Commissioner Mr. Christopher Lynn. According to Mr. Lynn, this was easy and quick to do and that was 20 years ago. 

The toll-free number could be advertised with PSA, public service advertisements, so people could call in if their apartment door doesn't automatically close.   

Once we learn how many units exists, then we partner with the Rent Stabilization Association and the Real Estate Board, to contact each and every building owner, directly (these groups can do it quickly) and inform them that they must install these devices and the City will then provide a one time tax credit against their outstanding real estate sewer or water bills, for the amount spent. 

The idea is to involve as many participants as possible, fix the problem, avoid creating bureaucracy and additional expenses, and not just pass a law.  If there are some owners who fail to comply then the Buildings Department could be authorized to issue a "when and where" contract, hire companies and do it for the owners at a 50% markup, there will be no tax credit. 

We urge the Mayor’s Office of Community Assistance to continue their great efforts in finding permanent housing and burial assistance for the victim’s family.  Let's make their job easier by ending all such future horrors. 

We need to FIX this problem…. 

This is Senator Rubٞén Díaz and this is what you should know.

Very soon to be former State Senator Ruben Diaz Sr. will be able to convey this message when he arrives at City Hall to represent the 18th City Council District in less than 48 hours. As a matter of fact if Councilman Ruben Diaz Sr. is attending the swearing in of Mayor Bill de Blasio he may want to start the conversation right there. 

Since the address is in the 32nd State Senate District and 87th Assembly District, maybe Councilman Diaz Sr. and the wannabe be State Senator currently the Assemblyman from the 87th A.D. should look in the mirror and say 'Why did I not think of this before this tragedy, and not now after it has happened'.

What other such similar problems are there in the 32nd State Senate District which the soon to be former, and wannabe state senator have neglected.

Friday, December 29, 2017

Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. - How You Can Help the Victims of Thursday's Fire

Dear Friend:
On Thursday evening, The Bronx faced an unimaginable tragedy.

Twelve of our neighbors passed away in a horrible fire in Belmont, including a one year old child. As we pray for the victims, we are working to assist those families dispaced by the fire.

The NYPD, in collaboration with the Mayor's Office Community Affairs Unit, Office of Emergency Management, and the FDNY, have established a collection site where people can donate new or lightly used clothing to help the families affected by this tragedy.

Church of Saint Martin of Tours
2239 Crotona Avenue (E. 182nd St/Garden Ave)
Saturday 12/30, 9am -4pm
Sunday 12/31, 9am -4pm
In addition, my office is partnering with the Red Cross of New York to coordinate relief efforts for the victims. Please call 877-RED-CROSS if you want to help. And please share this information with everyone you can.

Ruben Diaz Jr.


  Police Commissioner James P. O’Neill: I want to tell you about some of what we’ve put together for our New Year’s Eve celebrations. We want to let people know what they can expect as they brave the cold – and it’s certainly going to be cold our in Times Square – and any number of other areas where festivities are taking place around the five boroughs. In a minute, Mayor de Blasio is going to say a few words, and we have Bill Sweeney, the FBI’s assistant Director in Charge of the New York office, as well as our Chief of Counterterrorism Jimmy Waters, and Chief of Patrol Terry Monahan will go into some of the specifics about how we secure events of this size and scope. And then, we’ll take your questions. 

As we do every year, we began preparing for New Year’s Eve just after the final piece of confetti was cleaned up last January 1st. As you know, the men and women of the NYPD do an incredible job of planning for and securing large-scale events like this on a very regular basis. This is part of what we do. But nothing we do in our profession do we do alone. All throughout the year, we work closely with Bill’s people at the FBI and our Joint Terrorist Taskforce, as well as many other local, State, and federal agencies, including the ATF, the MTA, the Port Authority, and the State police. It’s those professional partnerships that always make our planning successful. All of this helps us to live on our primary mission of keeping people safe. We want to make sure that the approximately 2 million people who will converge in the vicinity on Times Square on Sunday night also feel safe.

Here in New York – and again, it’s always in conjunction with our law enforcement partners – we constantly monitor and asses the threat stream. It’s an around-the-clock task and a necessary one. We employ some of the best intelligence analysts who constantly decipher and share data with our partners – add to that the literally millions of pair of eyes and ears of vigilant New Yorkers who recognize and understand that to achieve true public safety it takes everyone doing their part. It’s definitely a shared responsibility. 

You’ve heard it before and it definitely bears repeating – that if something doesn’t look right to you, it makes you feel uncomfortable, call 9-1-1, or tell a cop and give us a chance to investigate. I can report at this time there are no direct, credible threats to New York City, to Times Square specifically, or to any of our New Year’s Eve events generally. Out of an abundance of caution, however, you’ll see a stronger police presence than we’ve seen even in recent years, and that’s prudent given the terror events we have seen and studied around the world, as well as the three incidents here in New York over the past 15 months, including the two attacks within six weeks of one another – on October 31st, along the West Side Highway; and on December 11th, inside the subway passage at 42nd Street and 8th Avenue. 

In the lead-up to this Sunday, we’ve been working closely in recent weeks with the Times Square Alliance and more than 600 businesses in the immediate area, and the dozens and dozens of hotels and other venues in Midtown Manhattan. We know from experience that the first spectators on Sunday will begin showing up early in the day. It seems that every year they get earlier and earlier. And in addition to those enjoying the live performances and the ball drop in Times Square, there will also be thousands of Broadway theater goers and thousands more enjoying private parties, concerts at bars, clubs, restaurants, and other spots around the City. By now, New Yorkers are used to seeing a large counter-terrorism presence employed at all major events since 9/11. And obviously, Midtown is going to be exceptionally crowded on Sunday. I urge anyone coming into the City to leave their cars at home and use public transportation. If you do drive, you can expect to see safety and DWI checkpoints. The bottom line is this, there will be much the public will see and much the public will not see. And the takeaway from our preparation is this, people will be safe and they should feel safe too, because the NYPD and our partners are well prepared. 

This is going to be one of the most well policed, best protected events at one of the safest venues in the entire world. We will ensure that New York City has yet another safe and enjoyable New Year’s Eve celebration as we do every year. 

Mayor Bill de Blasio: I want to commend you and your team for the exceptional preparations that you’ve made in anticipation for New Year’s Eve. A particular thanks to First Deputy Commissioner Ben Tucker, to Deputy Commissioner John Miller, and to Chief Jim Waters for all of the work they have done to get everyone ready for this crucial moment. And I want to acknowledge and thank our partner from the federal government, FBI Assistant Director in Charge Bill Sweeney, who has been a tremendous partner in all we do. 

I want to say at the outset, we’re going to talk about this topic and take questions on this and other police matters, and then we’re going to be talking about the property tax issue in light of the federal tax legislation. Just want to let everyone know there will be an update on that before we go into general off-topic questions. 

This event every year – New Year’s Eve – is one of the things that people all over the country, all over the world most associate with New York City. It’s a moment of great pride for New York City – a huge, joyous event. And literally people all over the world ring in the New Year through watching this event in Times Square, and they think of it as the ultimate expression of crossing over into a new year. That puts a huge responsibility on all of us to keep it safe. It’s a point of a pride for New York City. New York City is one of the few places in the world that could host an event like this and provide this level of security. It makes us very proud, but we’re also quite aware of the amount of work that has to go into it and the agility – the ability to constantly update our strategies and improve them as we get new information each year. So, the NYPD has done a great job preparing to protect the hundreds and hundreds of thousands of people who will be coming to New Year’s Eve.

We understand why we are a target. Unfortunately, it’s a sad reality, but we understand it and, bluntly, it is because of our values as New Yorkers, because of our success as a pluralistic city. Terrorists regard New York as the exact kind of place they want to disrupt, and New Yorkers respond consistently with strength and resiliency. We saw it after the two attacks in the fall – people in this city handled it with great strength and in a very adorable way. As did the NYPD, and the NYPD proved once again its ability to handle and respond to any situation. We are clear that those characteristics – that strength, that resiliency, that unwillingness to ever bend in the face of threats – marks the character of New Yorkers and is something the City should be proud of as well, and that will again be on display. We are ready to have a great celebration. 

And I want to emphasize what you heard from the Commissioner – there are no credible and specific threats against New York City at this point in time, and no credible and specific threats against the New Year’s Eve celebrations. But we are still vigilant at all times. We are very proud of the fact that the NYPD this year proved its ability to achieve even greater results. We’re proud of being the safest big city in America. We’re proud of the fact that we’re getting even safer. This NYPD has managed to achieve that while facing an ever more complex terrorist threat. They’ve done both with tremendous ability and professionalism. We know there’s more work to be done, but we take heart from the fact that just in the last few months we had a very successful New York City Marathon, we had a very successful Macy’s Thanksgiving parade. These big events came off without a hitch because of exceptional planning and because of the use of exceptional resources to secure them, and that’s the exact model we’ll use again on New Year’s Eve.

We have put the patrol officers out in numbers we need for this situation. We’ve made very clear in the last few years that we will continue to use the number necessary to secure each situation, and, again, the vital cooperation with our federal partners has been crucial to ensuring that we’re ready in all ways. That being said, and the Commissioner said it so powerfully after the last incident, the NYPD is the best police force in the world, we have tremendous cooperation with our partners, but we must have the help of the people of this city to do everything we need to do. So, that phrase – if you see something, say something – that means something. You have to feel that phrase. Any one New Yorker can save countless lives by being vigilant and reporting information to the police. So, please, I want to urge everyone – help each other be safe. If you see something, make sure a police officer knows about it. 

Chief of Department Terence Monahan, NYPD: Planning for this event began January 1st. It’s been constantly adjusted and updated as events occurred in the city, in this country, and around the world. It’s been a tremendous effort on the part of Chief Billy Morris and Chief Jimmy Waters from Counter-terrorism and all their personnel assigned to Manhattan South and the Counter-terrorism Bureau to put together this plan to make sure that everyone that comes to Times Square that day can come and be ensured that they will be safe. 

So, as we move forward – 11 am, crosstown traffic will be shut from 37th Street to 59th Street, 6th to 8th Avenue. At that time, we’ll begin to seal off the entire bowtie area with concrete, a block of cars, and sand-trucks. Within that area, there are 125 parking garages. Each and every one of those parking garages will be closed and seals – cars will not be allowed to come in or to come out. There will be a truck restriction in place on 6th and 8th Avenues, starting at 11 am from 34th Street to 59th Street – no trucks will be allowed within that area. 

Once we’re into the zone, there are 12 access points for spectators to come in. Each one of those access points will have vapor wake dogs assigned there, and there will be heavy-weapon teams. Spectators will be walking through a checkpoint area where they will be checked. Bags will be checked and screened, there will be no large bags, no coolers, no umbrellas into the area. You’ll go through a magnetometer, so we’ll make sure there are no weapons. Once you go there and you process to the pens, you will again be screened a second time before you’re allowed to enter the pens. There will be heavy-weapon teams and dogs assigned throughout the entire viewing area. In addition, we will have our Emergency Service Unit working hand in hand with the FBI and Secret Service, and we will have observation teams with counter-sniper capabilities assigned throughout the entire viewing area. In addition, every hotel within the Times Square area will have uniformed officers assigned to those hotels, working hand in hand with the hotel securities. Our transit hubs – transit will be fully staffed that day. We will be conducting train inspections and bag screenings at locations throughout the city, not just in the Times Square area. Transit will also have dogs working throughout the transit system. Our aviation unit will have a ship up the entire night and it’ll be covering the entire Manhattan area. There will be at least one ship up at all times. 

In addition to the Times Square area, we have major details going on in Coney Island, and we have the Central Park Run. We will have heavy-weapon teams out in those locations and we will also have sand-trucks and blocker vehicles. There are numbers other events taking place throughout the City and we will also have coverage at them. Every precinct, housing, and transit facility throughout the City will be fully covered, and the commanding officers of each and every one of those units will be working that evening. Our highway units will be fully staffed, working the highways to deter any drunk driving. So, the message out there is, be responsible. Don’t get behind the wheel of a car after you’ve been drinking. This is a shared responsibility. Whether it’s in the Times Square area, or anywhere else around the City – as it’s been said before – if you see something, say something. There are going to be cops out throughout the City, in Times Square and everywhere else in the City. Do not hesitate to go up to a cop if there’s something that makes you feel uncomfortable, and let us investigate it. That’s what we’re here for. 

With all of this done, I can really say that this should be a very safe and happy new year for everyone. 

Chief of Counterterrorism James Waters, NYPD: As the Mayor and Police Commissioner have already said, there’s no specific or credible threats to the New Year’s Eve event. We are aware of the propaganda that has been disseminated by ISIS and its affiliates. We follow the attacks that occur around the world, our analysts are at work each and every day looking at those attacks and analyzing them. They inform our training and our deployments. We are conducting executive meetings today with personnel that will be assigned to the detail. So, all the executives, captains, and above are downstairs in a training informational session right now with people from Operations, Manhattan South, and Counter-terrorism and Intelligence Bureaus.

In addition to that, as a result of the events of December 11th, we have prepared a tactical bulletin – a response to suicide bombers that will be disseminated to the police officers starting tomorrow in preparation of Sunday’s events. These will be some instructions and some level of training. We also prepared a training video that they’ll be able to see. And with the latest of technology, they’ll be able to review both the tactical bulletin as well as the video on their Department phones. You will see an increase in heavy weapons, bomb-squad personnel, radiological detection teams, and our technology to include over 1,000 cameras in an around the area of Times Square for the event. 

So, very briefly, I’ll take you through a quick visual of what one would see if they were to come to the event. On Sunday night, as they access one of the access-block points – they will first walk past the Sanitation sand-trucks and NYPD blocker vehicles that will be positioned at the intersection of 6th of 8th Avenue, as well as they will see some NYPD cement block out there. They’ll walk past a vapor wake dog, which works off of the air displacement off one’s body. And so, those dogs will be deployed at all those access points. They will go through a magnetometer, or they’ll be wanded for weapons, and, at some point, they will come to a table where they will have their bags inspected. In some cases, we will randomly take those bags and swipe the handles with explosive detection equipment, followed up and supported by the Critical Response Command or the Strategic Response Group heavy weapons teams at all locations. They will then proceed onto the pens, where this process will be repeated a second time as they enter the pens. They will again be wanded. They will walk past another dog. There’s radiological detection equipment on all of the officer’s gun belts. And then they will proceed into the pens, all with an overwatch from not only the observation teams of emergency service, but the Critical Response Command and the Strategic Response Group long gun teams.

Thursday, December 28, 2017


  10-year waiver for Catskill and Delaware water supplies acknowledges high quality of NYC water and supports affordability; NYC one of only four large U.S. cities with waiver; DEP to commit $1 billion over next decade to continue watershed protection efforts

  The New York City Department of Environmental Protection today announced that it received a 10-year waiver to continue delivering unfiltered drinking water from its Catskill and Delaware water supply systems. The waiver, known as a Filtration Avoidance Determination (FAD), was released today by the New York State Department of Health (DOH). The City will commit an estimated $1 billion over the next decade to comply with the FAD by administering programs that protect the upstate reservoirs and the vast watershed lands that surround them.

“This confirms what every New Yorker knows: we have some of the cleanest and best tap water in the world,” said Mayor de Blasio. “I would like to thank the 6,000 city employees who made this possible by working tirelessly to operate, maintain and protect our water sources.”

“The renewal of our filtration waiver underscores that New York City has some of the highest quality and best protected drinking water in the world,” DEP Commissioner Vincent Sapienza said. “But protecting our water at its source in the Catskill Mountains does not happen by accident. The programs outlined in the FAD are based on decades of scientific research and investment. Since the City received its first filtration waiver in the early 1990s we have protected open space around our reservoirs, invested in wastewater upgrades, forged partnerships with watershed farmers, and focused considerable attention on the forests, streams and wetlands that comprise the natural infrastructure of our water supply. Importantly, none of this work could succeed without the vital local partners who administer our watershed protection programs. New Yorkers owe their gratitude to the nonprofits, government agencies and other watershed-based partners who carry out this work as we push toward the common goal of protecting the largest municipal water supply in the United States.”

“New York City tap water is safe, healthy, and delicious,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett. “The City’s maintenance of our water supply earns it the moniker ‘the champagne of tap water’ and ‘the healthiest thirst quencher.’”

Over the past 25 years, the City’s watershed protection programs have been praised as a worldwide model for protecting the quality of drinking water at its source. These efforts, paired with a robust program of water quality testing and infrastructure improvements, have allowed the City to avoid the construction of a costly filtration plant for its Catskill and Delaware supplies. Such a facility is estimated to cost more than $10 billion to construct, upwards of $100 million to operate each year, and would be the largest public works project in the history of the City.

New York City’s water supply is comprised of three distinct systems – Croton, Catskill and Delaware. Their reservoirs work in concert to meet the demand of 8.5 million consumers in the five boroughs of New York City, and another 1 million people in four counties north of the City. The system delivers about 1.1 billion gallons of water each day.

The Catskill and Delaware systems comprise the largest unfiltered water supply in the United States, delivering about 90 percent of New York City’s water on a typical day. Millions of laboratory tests in the City and the watershed show that water from these two systems continues to meet the stringent criteria to avoid filtration. The Croton System became a filtered supply in 2015. It supplies about 10 percent of the City’s water.

For decades the City has implemented a strategy of source-water protection to maintain the high quality of water in its reservoirs. The science-based programs in the FAD are rooted in the premise that it is most cost effective and environmentally sound to protect the quality of water at its natural source. DEP’s programs in the watershed have become a national and international model for protecting water at its source. Each year, water utility managers and public health professionals come from around the globe to study the City’s watershed programs. This year alone DEP has welcomed visitors from Australia, Chile, China, Colombia, India, Singapore, the United Kingdom and others that aimed to solve water-quality challenges by replicating part of New York City’s protection programs.

A key element of New York City’s success in watershed protection has been the development of strong relationships with watershed communities, locally based organizations, environmental groups, and federal, state and local government agencies. While the watershed protection programs are fully funded by City water rate payers, most of them are administered by watershed-based entities that partner with DEP to protect the water supply from environmental degradation or potential sources of contamination.

Including the new FAD, the City has committed more than $2.7 billion toward its watershed protection programs since 1993, when the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency first issued the City a waiver from the federal requirement to filter tap water that comes from surface sources such as reservoirs. A 1997 memorandum of agreement allowed the City to move ahead with three central components of source-water protection: acquisition of vacant land in the watershed to minimize pollution resulting from widespread development in areas near reservoirs and the streams that feed them; regulatory controls over new development to ensure building projects were protective of water quality; and a series of City-funded partnership programs to address existing and potential sources of water pollution. This multi-pronged approach has provided flexibility to counter evolving threats such as climate change, and the agility to reallocate resources after large storms or to meet other unforeseen needs. 

DEP’s source-water protection initiatives and achievements have included:

·  DEP has administered a successful land acquisition program that has preserved 147,221 acres of land through fee-simple purchases or conservation easements since 1997. These lands are purchased at fair-market value, and only from willing sellers. In addition, the City already owned nearly 45,000 acres of land surrounding its reservoirs, the State of New York owns and permanently protects 210,000 acres as parkland or forestland, and other entities own and protect nearly 25,000 acres as parkland or forestland. Nearly 40 percent of the watershed is now preserved as open space.

·  The nonprofit Watershed Agricultural Council, one of the City’s watershed partners, has completed more than 450 “whole farm” plans that incorporate pollution prevention into the business operations of local farms. Those plans have included the installation of more than 7,400 best management practices to control runoff from farms and minimized the amount of nutrients entering local water bodies.

·  DEP has completed upgrades on all private and public wastewater treatment plants in the Catskill-Delaware watershed, including upgrades to five City-owned treatment plants and dozens not owned by the City.

·  The Catskill Watershed Corporation (CWC), another key partner organization funded by the City, has invested in the repair of failing septic systems across the watershed, with more than 5,000 repairs completed to date. CWC also works with communities to construct stormwater controls that protect water quality.

· DEP has implemented a comprehensive stream management program to restore the natural stability and flood resiliency of streams that feed the reservoir system. To date, the program has funded 364 project to restore stream stability and streamside vegetation along 41.2 miles of waterways in the Catskills.

·  DEP developed a comprehensive plan to manage the forests on City-owned lands, which act as nature’s filter by soaking up nutrients and preventing erosion.

·  DEP administers a regulatory program to review and approve new development proposals in the watershed. All proposals must comply with standards designed to protect watershed streams and reservoirs, especially as they relate to wastewater and stormwater. Over the past 20 years DEP has reviewed more than 20,000 applications, approving 99.95 percent of them.

·  DEP maintains a robust water-quality monitoring program that tests New York City’s drinking water at more than 475 sites in the watershed and from approximately 1,000 street-side sampling stations in the five boroughs. Scientists collect about 52,000 samples each year, and perform nearly 640,000 analyses on those samples. In addition, a growing network of robotic monitoring equipment measured the City’s water quality about 1.2 million times each year. These laboratory tests ensure the City’s water meets and exceeds all regulations, and they also provide data to show the success of DEP’s watershed protection efforts over time.

·    DEP has worked in partnership with local communities to identify and invest in projects that mitigate flooding in watershed communities. These projects, which protect water quality by minimizing the amount of debris that gets washed into streams during floods, have included the rightsizing of infrastructure such as bridges and culverts, and the relocation of key community facilities to lands that are outside of floodplains.

·   Balancing the goals of watershed protection with the needs of the region, DEP has also opened 135,000 acres of City-owned property for recreation throughout the watershed. These lands and waters are open for fishing, hiking and other forms of low-impact recreation that support the tourism and outdoor recreation economies of the region.

·    CWC also administers the Catskills Fund for the Future, which was established with money from the City. The local development fund provides grants and low-interest loans to support watershed businesses for job growth and retention. The fund has yielded approximately $90 million in direct and leveraged investments in the Catskills, creating or retaining more than 4,900 jobs.

The new FAD issued by DOH today requires the City to continue these core programs. It also requires some new or additional investments in the years ahead. They include:

· Expanding the small-business septic program in the west-of-Hudson watershed.
·    Expediting the development of a community wastewater facility for the hamlet of Shokan near Ashokan Reservoir.
·  The implementation of additional best-management practices on watershed farms.
· Protecting additional streamside lands through the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program and the Streamside Acquisition Program.
·  The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine will assemble a panel of experts to review New York City’s source water protection programs. The expert panel is expected to begin its work in 2018. 

More information about the FAD can be found on the DOH website at the following address:

More information about New York City’s watershed protection programs can be found:

The FAD applies to New York City’s six large reservoirs in the Catskill Mountains – Ashokan, Schoharie, Rondout, Neversink, Pepacton and Cannonsville – which deliver their water to the City through two large aqueducts. Some FAD programs also apply to a handful of reservoirs east of the Hudson River – including Cross River, Croton Falls, Hillview, Kensico and West Branch. Some of these reservoirs receive water from the Catskills and convey it as part of the unfiltered supply, or they have infrastructure that can pump water into the unfiltered supply during times of drought.

DEP manages New York City’s water supply, providing more than 1 billion gallons of high-quality water each day to more than 9.5 million New Yorkers. This includes more than 70 upstate communities and institutions in Ulster, Orange, Putnam and Westchester counties who consume an average of 110 million total gallons of drinking water daily from New York City’s water supply system. This water comes from the Catskill, Delaware, and Croton watersheds that extend more than 125 miles from the City, and the system comprises 19 reservoirs, three controlled lakes, and numerous tunnels and aqueducts. DEP has nearly 6,000 employees, including almost 1,000 scientists, engineers, surveyors, watershed maintainers and other professionals in the watershed. In addition to its $70 million payroll and $166 million in annual taxes paid in upstate counties, DEP has invested more than $1.7 billion in watershed protection programs—including partnership organizations such as the Catskill Watershed Corporation and the Watershed Agricultural Council—that support sustainable farming practices, environmentally sensitive economic development, and local economic opportunity. In addition, DEP has a robust capital program with a planned $20.7 billion in investments planned for the next 10 years that will create up to 3,000 construction-related jobs per year. For more information, visit, like us on Facebook at, or follow us on Twitter at

 Having been a member of the Jerome Park Reservoir Citizen's Advisory Committee in the mid 1990's when the Jerome Park Reservoir was the proposed site for the Croton Water Filtration Plant it was said by the consultant for the DEP that in the future all three water systems would have to be filtered at one point. Since the DEP consultant said that the NYC Catskill/Delaware system would be filtered at the Hillview Reservoir, and for the rest of the Catskill system the Kensico Dam would be used to filter the second water system. The Jerome Park Reservoir was divided at a cost of One Hundred million dollars to prepare for a water filtration plant that had to be built in the Bronx. It was never built in the Jerome Park Reservoir, but at a total cost of over Three Billion dollars in Van Cortland Park.  

 The Hillview Reservoir in Yonkers which supplies water from the Catskill water system was also divided after the Jerome Park Reservoir was divided in preparation for a filtration plant to be built in the Hillview Reservoir. It appears that  the plans for the Hillview Water Filtration Plant have been pushed back ten years again. With the continued population growth around the reservoirs it is only a matter of time when the other two water supply systems will have to be filtered.  


De Blasio administration dramatically reduces the number of people in detention, while keeping crime at historic lows, as the jail population is on target to match monthly average daily population in 1982

  Mayor de Blasio today announced the New York City jail population has fallen below 9,000, and the City is on track for a monthly jail population below 9,000 for the first time in more than three decades. With just a few days left in the month, the average daily population for December is 8,980, and today's population is 8,783. 

"Today, New York City has the lowest incarceration rate of all large U.S. cities and crime rates continue to fall, proving that a large city can have small jails and safe communities," said Mayor de Blasio. "We've been carrying out a multi-pronged effort over the course of my first term to shrink our jail population, and today we see the results: a jail population lower than it's been in 35 years."

“This historic announcement of this massive jail population reduction is a milestone in our path to closing Rikers Island. This milestone will help advance our progress in closing Rikers even sooner than we anticipated. From the lowest crime rate our City has seen in years to this momentous drop in the jail population to the Council’s Criminal Justice Reform Act, our efforts to make our city more just and secure are delivering results. I thank Mayor de Blasio for his collaboration in establishing a fairer and safer criminal justice system,” said Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito.

Elizabeth Glazer, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice said, “The historic reduction of the jail population is the result of many simultaneous efforts aimed at both reducing the number of low risk people who enter our jails and shortening the length of stay. Reducing the jail population is a piece of the seismic changes taking place in New York City to ensure a smaller, safer and fairer justice system. We are grateful to our partners inside and outside government and to every New Yorker whose ideas and work continue to push our work forward.” 

“This is a great step forward in our efforts to reduce population and close Rikers Island. We’re well on our way towards moving into smaller, borough-based facilities that will be safer, easier for visitors to access, and save the city millions in transportation and upkeep costs. In the meantime, we remain committed to the internal reforms that are protecting staff and inmates each day, and providing real opportunities for inmates to engage in programs that help build life and job skills. None of this would be possible without the efforts of our correction officers, who have been tasked with implementing these reforms and risen to that challenge magnificently,” said Department of Correction Commissioner Cynthia Brann.

In March, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the City’s plan to close Rikers and replace it with a borough-based jail system that is smaller, safer and fairer. Achieving that goal will require the census be reduced to 5,000. The current jail population is down 58 percent from its peak of 21,674 in 1991 and has fallen more than 20 percent since Mayor de Blasio took office. Additionally, the jail population has fallen about 5 percent (roughly 400 beds) compared to this time last year. The reduction of the jail population is driven by a number of factors including reduced crime and greatly expanded alternatives to incarceration. Fewer people are entering jail because:

·   Crime continues to fall. As of December 24, there have been 284 homicides, 774 shootings, and 11,827 burglaries citywide. Compared to the same time period in 2013 this represents a 14 percent decrease in homicides, a 28 percent decrease in shootings, and a 30 percent decrease in burglaries.

· Jail is increasingly reserved for serious crime. Arrests for low-level crimes continue to fall: misdemeanor arrests are down 29 percent in the last 4 years. And the number of jail admissions for misdemeanor detainees has dropped by 25 percent since 2014, indicating we are getting closer to the goal of reserving jail for those who pose a risk.

·  For the first time in city history, we now have a citywide alternative to bail program – supervised release – that has diverted over 6,000 people from jail since launching in 2016. Funded in part by the District Attorney of Manhattan’s office, supervised release allows judges to assign eligible, lower-risk defendants to a supervisory program that enables them to remain at home with their families and continue working while awaiting trial. The program has helped to reduce the number of people in jail on bail of $2000 and under by 36 percent in the last four years. 

·   The City has brought 120 additional supportive housing beds online, which are nearly filled. The evidence-driven program is based on models that reduced jail admissions by 36 percent.

·  The City continues to introduce and expand diversion programs designed to help people access services and to prevent future reoffending, including $30 million in new initiatives announced in June to accelerate safe reductions to the number of people in jail. 

For those who do enter jail, every part of the criminal justice system is now working together to reduce how long people are detained by shortening case processing times. Since the start of Justice Reboot, a partnership between the Mayor’s Office and the State courts that brings every part of the criminal justice system together to resolve issues driving case delay, there has been a 49 percent reduction in the number of cases pending for 3 years or longer, from 307 cases to 156 cases citywide (a reduction of 151 cases). Additionally, there has been a 22 percent reduction in the number of cases pending for 2 years or longer, from 923 cases to 717 cases citywide (a reduction of 206 cases).

While the City works to reduce safely the number of people in jail and eventually close Rikers Island, broad work is underway now to ensure conditions on the Island are as safe and humane as possible. In late 2015, the de Blasio administration began a series of sweeping reforms that included programs for individuals in custody, increasing security camera coverage, training officers in de-escalation techniques, new safety equipment and protective gear, and creating a classification and housing strategy for individuals in custody. The reforms have not only resulted in a drop in our jail population, but also a 65 percent drop in assaults on staff with serious injury and a 53 percent drop in uses of force with serious injury since 2014.

The announcement today marks a major milestone in the City’s work to close Rikers Island and replace it with a smaller, safer and fairer justice system. Progress is happening every day. The complete Roadmap, along with real-time updates and opportunities to get involved, is available at

Bronx District Attorney Darcel D. Clark said, “These numbers are very heartening and show the progress we have achieved in making Rikers Island safer. Through our presence on the Island with our Rikers Island Prosecution Bureau to our diversion programs and our support of bail reform, my Office has worked hard to reduce the jail population. By continuing to better train Correction Officers and prosecute those who commit acts of jailhouse violence, this decline will only continue and restore our community’s faith in the criminal justice system.”