Westchester Joint Water Works Settlement Will Require Construction of $138M Filtration Plant

This week, on June 24, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), along with the Department of Justice and the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced a settlement with the Westchester Joint Water Works (WJWW) over a 2019 violation of the Stage 2 Disinfectants Byproducts Rule (Stage 2 DBPR) wherein the PWS exceeded the MCL set for HAA5 and failed to implement corrective actions.

As part of the settlement, WJWW, who provides water to more than 120,000 residents in Westchester County, is required to construct a new $138M filtration plant and must implement measures to ensure the safety of its water supply until the new plant is operational. The settlement also includes a civil penalty of $600,000 and an agreement that WJWW will invest at least $900,000 on an environmental project in the Rye Lake portion of the Kensico Reservoir, which is expected to improve source water quality in the reservoir by decreasing natural organic material and turbidity.

In addition to the construction of the filtration facility, the defendants will pay the State of New York, who is joining the lawsuit to resolve previous judgements against WJWW, a $650,000 civil penalty and must spend at least $6.8 million on two state water quality benefit projects.

The consent decree is subject to public comment and approval by the court. Notice of the proposed consent decree will be published in the Federal Register, and the public will have the opportunity to submit comments on the consent decree for a period of at least 30 days before the parties seek the court’s approval. For more information about the settlement, visit the Westchester Joint Water Works settlement page.

As a personal aside, I spent many days in my youth skating, mountain biking, and hanging out around the Kensico Dam Plaza which was a short ride along the bike path [now, the Bronx River Greenway] that ran through my grandmother’s neighborhood. This picture really brings back some fun memories. Wild times! –Anthony