Watchdog group eyes lawsuit over mud in Esopus Creek

SAUGERTIES — An official with the environmental group Riverkeeper says he was not surprised to see the New York City Department of Environmental Protection dump up to 580 million gallons of turbid water daily from the Ashokan Reservoir into the lower Esopus Creek but was stunned to see the releases continue for more than three months.

Craig Michaels, Riverkeeper’s watershed program director, says legal teams have been evaluating whether to add the muddy releases to the group’s legal challenge surrounding the city agency’s discharges into the upper Esopus from its Shandaken Tunnel, or initiate an entirely new case.

“We have been in litigation with the city of New York for turbid discharges in the upper Esopus for over a decade,” Michaels said. “Certainly this (release into the lower Esopus) is not something that anyone saw coming, and certainly if anyone had seen it coming, obviously, there would have been a lot of discussions beforehand.

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Turbid water in Esopus Creek jeopardizes ice fishing

SAUGERTIES — A Jan. 29 ice fishing outing for staff and volunteers of the Hudson River Foundation is in jeopardy because of high turbidity levels in the Esopus Creek, attributed to the release of millions of gallons of water daily from New York City’s Ashokan Reservoir during the past four months.

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Ulster County Executive Mike Hein ~

Riverkeeper ~


From Wikipedia

Turbidity is the cloudiness or haziness of a fluid caused by individual particles (suspended solids) that are generally invisible to the naked eye, similar to smoke in air. The measurement of turbidity is a key test of water quality.

Fluids can contain suspended solid matter consisting of particles of many different sizes. While some suspended material will be large enough and heavy enough to settle rapidly to the bottom of the container if a liquid sample is left to stand (the settable solids), very small particles will settle only very slowly or not at all if the sample is regularly agitated or the particles are colloidal. These small solid particles cause the liquid to appear turbid.

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