New York City
Since the 1972 Clean Water Act, the water quality in New York City’s rivers and bays has dramatically improved. The Long Term Control Plan (LTCP) is another giant step towards better water quality for New Yorkers. Led by the New York City Department for Environmental Protection, the plan will improve water quality by decreasing combined sewer overflows, getting New York’s waters closer to recreational standards. Combined sewer overflows occur when rainwater floods the capacity of the city’s sewer system, resulting in overflows at specific outfall points. The plan has engaging over 200 professionals from private engineering firms, public agencies, and other consultants.
For the LTCP project team, Starr Whitehouse led an ambitious program of public outreach, meeting with over three hundred different stakeholders over the course of more than thirty public meetings. With the challenge of marrying the technical knowledge of the engineering team and local knowledge and aspirations, Starr Whitehouse led discussions on water quality issues, including the use of low impact stormwater management, such as green roofs and street swales; innovative public notification; and recreational standards. Initial plans for 15 waterbodies have been submitted to New York State, among them Jamaica Bay, the Bronx River, Gowanus Canal, and Newtown Creek, each with highly varied geography and complex technical issues.