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Delaware County wants to lead review of NYC land-buying Catskills program

Aug 16, 2023 12:55 am

Roger Hannigan Gilson reports in the Times Union that the latest skirmish between upstate interests and New York City drinking water is in Delaware County. The tension again is with New York City’s land-buying program in the Catskills to protect the water for New York City drinking. Delaware County is asking to lead the review of New York City’s land-buying program, and the Department of Environmental Conservation is objecting to that request. New York City’s environmental protection department does not even believe the program needs a review at all. In all, to buy, New York City wants to buy 137,000 acres — 197 square miles — over the next decade to continue to protect the water supply. Some town leaders in the Catskill have objected to the land-buying program since it began in the 1990s, claiming it inhibits growth and strangles property tax revenues. But none of the stakeholders in the decision — the state Department of Environmental Conservation, state Department of Health, the environmental group Riverkeeper and the New York City Department of Environmental Protection — believe Delaware County should have the lead jurisdiction in the review of the program. Read more about this story in the Times Union.

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