September Westchester Joint Water Works Water Filtration Plant on Purchase Street

Tue, Sep 15, 2020 • Westchester Joint Water Works

PEPA is writing to inform that both  WJWW matters (UV and filtration plants) have been removed from tonight's Planning Board agenda. We will update you when we learn more.

Westchester Joint Water Works – Water Filtration Plant on Purchase Street
PEPA and legal counsel have been monitoring and responding to this matter and an update is included. For additional information we urge you to attend the Zoom Webinar Meeting of the upcoming Planning Board Meeting.
Below is a link to the September 22, 2020 Harrison Planning Board Agenda with instructions to register in advance for this Webinar meeting–
On the Planning Board agenda are two items relating to projects being proposed by Westchester Joint Water Works (WJWW) that members of PEPA should be interested in and stay informed about.
The first matter involves the construction of the Rye Lake Filtration Plant (Filtration Plant) on property that is currently part of the Westchester County Airport located off Purchase Street. Information about the reasons why WJWW is proposing to build the Filtration Plant, the construction details and costs of the Filtration Plant can be provided by PEPA upon request. We are also working to place WJWW submissions on our website and hope to have this completed soon.
However, you should be aware that the project is estimated to cost over * $100 million, which cost will be passed on to the various WJWW water users. At the meeting on September 22, 2020, the Planning Board will be considering whether to approve a Co-Lead Agency agreement under the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA). The Co-Lead Agency agreement will permit the Harrison Planning Board to act as Lead agency, along with the WJWW, to ensure that environmental impacts from the construction of the Rye Lake Filtration Plant are addressed.  It will also require hearings before the Harrison Planning Board where the public will be permitted to provide input relating to the potential environmental impacts. As a result, PEPA supports the Co-Lead Agency agreement so long as it provides the Planning Board with an equal say in the SEQRA review process. PEPA also encourages all its members to monitor this application to ensure that all potential impacts from the construction of the Rye Lake Treatment Plant are addressed and mitigated, including the potential costs to the public.  Furthermore, the Planning Board and the public must make sure that if it is determined that the location of the Filtration Plant is not appropriate or has too many impacts, or that costs are excessive and unnecessarily burden the WJWW’s users, that alternatives are appropriately considered.
The second matter involves the construction of the Rye Lake Ultraviolet (UV) Facility. The construction of the UV Facility is related to the construction of the Filtration Plant because WJWW asserts that the UV treatment is necessary to ensure that the WJWW drinking water is appropriately treated. However, the UV Facility is a separate structure that will be much smaller and is located immediately adjacent to Rye Lake in an area where an existing WJWW pumping facility is already located. The construction of the UV Facility has also already started. WJWW is now seeking various approvals for the construction of the UV Facility. In conjunction with these approvals, the Planning Board is also considering the environmental implications from the construction of the UV Facility as required by SEQRA. Part of this analysis is whether the construction of the UV Facility and the Filtration Plant should be considered as one action requiring a single SEQRA review.  WJWW contends that the UV Facility should be considered a separate project that does not require a joint SEQRA review with the Filtration Plant. The Planning Board will be considering this question at the Planning Board meeting on September 22, 2020.
* Hazen and Sawyer Engineers addressed the WJWW Board with respect to the scope and associated costs of this project at the Board of Trustees Meeting on December 17th 2019. They estimate “a total project cost of $108 million dollars (inclusive of engineering, inspection and construction costs). Their experience with constructing a comparable 30 mgd DAFF plant in Stamford, Connecticut; a NYCDEP Croton Reservoir DAFF plant as well as other local projects helped to provide a baseline for component costs.”

For more information attend the September 22nd meeting or contact Anne Gold, Executive Director, at or (914) 960-3088.

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