Mar 24, 2021

Middletown, New York, Acquires 148 Acres to Protect Drinking Water

Two parcels in the town of Mount Hope were acquired to help protect Middletown, New York’s drinking water.

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Two parcels totaling 148 acres in the town of Mount Hope have been acquired to help protect Middletown, New York’s drinking water.

This plan has the help of a $3 million state grant, according to the city and the state Department of Environmental Conservation in a joint announcement. The acquisition is part of New York State’s Water Quality Improvement Project (WQIP) Program.

The parcels were acquired under the state's Water Quality Improvement Project, according to Times Herald-Record. Most of the raw water supplied to the city comes from surface water sources, including four reservoirs and two temporary supplies. Acquiring the properties allows the city to directly manage those lands and reduce the potential for pollutants to enter the water supply.

"Protecting the city watershed has been a great concern of mine, especially after seeing how one of our neighboring city's main drinking water reservoirs was polluted and had to be taken out of service due to discharges and runoff from adjacent developments," said Middletown Mayor Joseph DeStefano, about the city of Newburgh, reported Times Herald-Record.

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Newburgh’s Washington Lake was polluted by perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid PFOA runoff from Stewart Airport, according to Times Herald-Record.

According to Jacob Tawil, Middletown's commissioner of public works, the acquisition will protect city water sources for generations to come.

Middettown paid $2.5 million for a 61-acre former manure storage area adjacent to the Kinch Reservoir and the city will remove the buildings, septic field and waste area. Another $500,000 was paid for an 87-acre parcel upstream from the reservoir, added Times-Herald Record.

New York State is increasing investments for clean water infrastructure projects, including the state’s $3.5 billion commitment to ensure that all New Yorkers have access to clean water, reported NYS News.

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