Apr 14, 2021

EPA Issues Record of Decision Related to CSO Impacts on the Newtown Creek Superfund Site in New York City

The U.S. EPA issued a Record of Decision to evaluate current and expected future volume of combined sewer overflow discharges to the Newtown Creek Superfund Site in New York City.

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The U.S. EPA issued a Record of Decision that evaluates impacts of the current and expected future volume of combined sewer overflow (CSO) discharges to the Newtown Creek Superfund Site in New York City.

The Record of Decision applies to the volume of CSO discharges to Newtown Creek. According to EPA, New York City’s Long Term Control Plan to improve the water quality of Newtown Creek is on track to meet the needs of the Superfund program.

New York City is under order by New York State to implement a CSO Long-Term Control Plan (LTCP) for Newtown Creek to fill requirements of the Clean Water Act. The LTCP was approved by the state in 2018 and includes several components such as construction of a CSO storage tunnel to reduce the volume of future CSO discharges to the creek by over 60%. 

“EPA’s Record of Decision recognizes the significant reductions in CSO discharges to Newtown Creek that will result from implementation of the Long Term Control Plan, and we have concluded that further volume reductions are not required under the Superfund program,” said EPA acting Regional Administrator Walter Mugdan in the EPA press release. “EPA will continue to closely monitor the site and will implement additional actions to address the impacts of CSO discharges on the creek if needed to fulfill the comprehensive cleanup of the site.”

The Newtown Creek Superfund Site Study Area comprises the water and sediment of Newtown Creek. EPA will determine at a later date whether additional CSO-discharge related actions are needed.

“EPA has determined that the CSO volume controls prescribed by the LTCP that the City of New York is under order to implement are sufficient to meet the needs of an eventual Superfund cleanup of the Newtown Creek Superfund Site,” said EPA in the press release. “EPA will require monitoring of the four major CSOs to confirm the assumptions made in reaching this conclusion remain valid.”

EPA will continue to direct a detailed investigation of the contamination in the creek and a study of the options to address the contamination. The studies are projected to be completed in 2023 and are expected to lead to a proposal by EPA of a cleanup plan for the entire creek, added EPA.

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