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SaveTheWallkill begins New Paltz Citizen’s Sampling

SaveTheWallkill has started to take action.  We are actively involved with collecting water samples for Riverkeeper’s sampling program.  See results for the August 30th sampling date here:  http://www.riverkeeper.org/water-quality/

We also turn your attention to The New Paltz Times issue dated September 4th.  Donald Kerr has written a pointed letter to the editor regarding the condition of the Wallkill River.  Mr. Kerr, along with many others in New Paltz concur that our river is hurting and needs help.  We appreciate the “three step, three year” plan that Mr. Kerr proposes.    SaveTheWallkill was organized to facilitate and coordinate various actions intended to “bring swimming and fishing” back to the Wallkill River.  We are working with Riverkeeper, The Beacon Institute, NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, The Hudson River Watershed Alliance, The New Paltz and other town boards as well as a variety of concerned citizens to clean up our river.  The most important action we can take is to get The Wallkill listed on what is known as the “303d” list of impaired water bodies.  This listing is required by the federal Clean Water Act of 1972.  The federal Environmental Protection Agency sets water contamination limits, but asks states to monitor and determine which water bodies should be included on the impaired water body list.  SaveTheWallkill is working with key individuals at the NYS DEC to develop a comprehensive report to be submitted to the Director of Water Quality and Management at the NYS DEC.  The intent of this report is to formally ask that the Wallkill River be included on the 303d list for 2016.  Once on the 303d, the EPA is required to act to help us clean up the Wallkill.  This may include new limits to legal existing polluters (such as water treatment plants), continued monitoring to determine unknown polluters and possible access to funds for water treatment updates and repairs.  Without being included on the 303d, The Wallkill River is not considered polluted!!  You will hear more about this report in the coming weeks.

On October 7th SaveThe Wallkill will attend the annual Hudson River Watershed Alliance Conference at the FDR Presidential Library in Hyde Park.  We will report to you again after this important meeting.

 

 

Water Sampling Training

On May 15th, Riverkeeper provided detailed water sampling training in Gardiner. I was pleased to be able to attend.   Many citizen’s have volunteered their time to assist Riverkeeper with this important task.  I am sampling The Wallkill in two locations
in New Paltz this summer and fall.  New Paltz has some of the greatest concentrations of E.Coli and we are attempting to find out why.  To volunteer as a citizen sampler, contact Riverkeeper.

 

Town Board meets with Riverkeeper, New Paltz Times reports the story!

On Thursday April 24th, the New Paltz Town Board, The New Paltz Village Board and concerned citizens all heard Riverkeeper present the findings of water sampling on the Wallkill in New Paltz.  As we now know, our river has high counts of E.Coli.  This presentation resulted in Town Board member Dan Torres agreeing to invite members of neighboring town boards to join our discussion.  This meeting and resulting agreement is a major boast to our efforts to save our river.  In the near future we will take our message from town to town where the river flows.  Start looking for us this spring and summer at the library in New Paltz, Gardiner and others towns asking for a signature to send to the Governor, the DEC and appropriate state legislature members.  We will be asking them to place the river on the EPA 303D or “Impaired Rivers” list. This action will raise awareness of the Wallkill’s pollution at the Federal Environmental Protection Agency level!  Based on the 1972 Clean Water Act, this will require efforts to clean up the Wallkill!  More soon about this, and other actions are in the planning stages.   Thanks for your help!