Ed Day, Rockland County Executive

June 19, 2014
Contact:   Scott Salotto  (845) 638-5645  (C.E.)
                 Betsy Saetre  (845) 638-5184  (Legislature)



Task Force Will Be Appointed By County Executive, Legislature

NEW CITY, NY  --  The Rockland County Legislature this week passed a resolution to create a Task Force on Water Management. County Executive Ed Day today formally signed the measure into law during a ceremony in New City.  The Task Force will be charged with the responsibility to develop a comprehensive water policy to ensure a safe, cost effective, long-term water supply for the County that incorporates sustainability, demand-side principles and conservation.

Legislator Harriet Cornell, Chair of the Environmental Committee and Alden Wolfe, Chairman of the Legislature, sponsored the legislation with support from County Executive Day.   The Executive and Legislative branches of County Government will appoint the 19-member task force; members will serve without compensation from the County. The structure will include representation from the Executive and Legislative branches including designated county departments, town and village government, school, business and scientific communities, water quality activists, and United Water New York.  Legislator Cornell will chair the Task Force.

The Task Force will rely on scientific data and use that to analyze Rockland's water needs.  A recent report by the Public Service Commission staff found that Rockland has until 2020 to come up with a water plan.

"I am eager to work with County Executive Day and Chairman Wolfe in constituting the Task Force quickly," said Legislator Cornell who first proposed a task force to develop a water management plan in testimony before the Public Service Commission in October 2013.  "This is an important step to prove that Rockland County can create its own plan to ensure a long-term, sustainable water supply—just as we did by developing a recycling program, thereby avoiding the major capital cost of a waste incineration plant decades ago."

Chairman Alden Wolfe said, "The Task Force is our best hope to rein in our out-of-control water rates.  Rockland ratepayers already pay among the highest water rates in the nation.  We need the transparent examination of the facts that the Task Force will provide, in order to have the highest quality water at the most affordable rates."

County Executive Day said, "Water is fundamental to the overall health and quality of life in Rockland County, a foundation for our community, economy and environment.  A clean, abundant supply of water is a basic right for our residents and an essential resource for our children and their futures.  I am proud of our commitment to work together on such a critical issue."

The Task Force will develop outreach, education and incentive programs to reduce demand with conservation and green infrastructure.  Its mission includes protecting the Hudson River as a critical regional resource, and protecting floodplains, woodlands, wetlands and groundwater resources, as well as to prevent costly and destructive flooding.

The announcement of the names of the Task Force appointees will follow in the near future.