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Watershed Groups Address Water Quality

Pete Lopez (file photo)

Water quality in the Schoharie Valley and the Catskill Watershed has captured the attention of environmentalists and government officials who have joined forces to develop procedures and policies for dealing with "the new normal" climate change seems to have cast across upstate New York.

Republican New York state Assemblyman Pete Lopez called a special meeting this week in Schoharie to discuss long-term flood prevention.  Lopez invited a myriad of agencies and officials to the meeting, including the City of New York, various county flood committees, the Army Corps of Engineers, and others.

Fellow Republican Congressman Chris Gibson agrees that current watershed policies need to be kept up to date to prepare for any significant events.  Initial plans involve conducting a study that will encompass waterways throughout Greene County up through the Mohawk River in Montgomery County.

Lopez credits Vermont's River Corridor and Floodplain Management program as inspiration for his resiliency plan. Not too far away, in Greene County, concerns are mounting about the water quality in the Catskill Creek. In 44 percent of samples taken during the past two years, the water was found to be unacceptably contaminated, according to officials. Village President Vincent Seeley is hopeful the new water quality data will fast-track plans to connect Leeds into the village’s wastewater treatment system.

Riverkeeper Water Quality Advocate Tracy Brown is encouraged that communities are using the group's citizen water quality data.  Back in Schoharie, the resiliency group plans to assemble at the end of July to hammer out budget issues pertaining to the study.

Dave Lucas is WAMC’s Capital Region Bureau Chief. Born and raised in Albany, he’s been involved in nearly every aspect of local radio since 1981. Before joining WAMC, Dave was a reporter and anchor at WGY in Schenectady. Prior to that he hosted talk shows on WYJB and WROW, including the 1999 series of overnight radio broadcasts tracking the JonBenet Ramsey murder case with a cast of callers and characters from all over the world via the internet. In 2012, Dave received a Communicator Award of Distinction for his WAMC news story "Fail: The NYS Flood Panel," which explores whether the damage from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee could have been prevented or at least curbed. Dave began his radio career as a “morning personality” at WABY in Albany.
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