FOR THE SAFETY OF YOUR DRINKING WATER
Westchester Joint Water Works – WJWW
Made By the Public, For the Public.
Your interest is Our interest.
WJWW needs to build a Water Filtration Plant (Plant) to control levels of disinfection by-products, specifically Haloacetic Acids (HAA5s) that have been found at elevated levels in WJWW’s water distribution system, and to comply with New York State and United States Environmental Protection Agency Orders. Long-term exposure to high levels of HAA5 has been linked to an increased risk of cancer. Filtering water is a proven treatment to reduce the formation of HAA5 compounds by removing organic matter that is naturally found in reservoirs and lakes.
The time to act is NOW.
Westchester County Executive George Latimer is planning a joint review with the Westchester County Board of Legislators this fall to consider approval of a land swap between WJWW and Westchester County which is needed for WJWW to build the Plant on a site adjoining Westchester County Airport. County Executive Latimer has recently indicated that a final decision will be made by late November or early December.
On September 26, 2023, WJWW delivered a presentation on the land swap to a joint Westchester County Board of Legislators Committee Meeting of the Environment, Energy & Climate and Public Works & Transportation Committees. You can view the September 26, 2023 PowerPoint here.
It is critical that you make your voice heard and urge your local legislator to approve the land swap by signing a letter of support, which can be accessed in the column on the right side of this page.
WJWW is your nonprofit water utility created by the Town/Village of Harrison, Town of Mamaroneck and Village of Mamaroneck that provides drinking water to the residents of these member municipalities, as well as to residents of Larchmont, Rye, Rye Brook, and Port Chester, and is responsible for ensuring safe drinking water. WJWW provides drinking water to up to 100,000 residents and other consumers in Westchester County.
WJWW has been working closely with a team of environmental and engineering professionals, and municipal officials to site the Plant in the most environmentally conscious and fiscally responsible manner, and to move the process forward. The State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) Findings Statement adopted by WJWW, as lead agency, on October 12, 2022 concluded that the Airport Site for the Plant was superior to all alternative locations investigated, including the site that WJWW currently owns.
- The Airport Site is in a “Special Business” zoning district; the site WJWW owns is in a “One-Family Residence” zoning district.
- The Airport Site is fronted by NYS Route 120 (Purchase Street) with direct access to Purchase Street; the site WJWW owns is fronted by an undeveloped residential subdivision with access to Purchase Street only through the subdivision via a residential side street.
- Building the Plant at the Airport Site will not result in any disturbance to wetlands; building on the site that WJWW owns would require disturbance of regulated wetlands.
- The Airport Site is fronted by a WJWW water transmission main and Con Edison electric transmission line; the site WJWW owns would require additional construction costs to connect the Plant to WJWW’s infrastructure and Con Edison’s grid.
WJWW will be restoring 302 native trees and adding extensive native plantings to the Airport Site. The vast majority of the Airport Site was previously cleared of trees prior to the 1940s. Over half of the second growth on the Airport Site is populated by trees which can be found on the NYSDEC invasive species list. The landscape plan for the Airport Site will reintroduce more than 55 native and site-appropriate species to rebuild the local ecosystem.
New York City Department of Environmental Protection (NYC DEP) issued an approval of WJWW’s Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan, on May 26, 2023. This approval demonstrates WJWW’s compliance with strict NYC DEP rules and regulations for the protection of Kensico Reservoir/Rye Lake and its watershed, and protects against any additional stormwater impact on downstream properties that may be potentially caused by construction of the Water Filtration Plant at the Airport Site. Kensico Reservoir/Rye Lake is a water source for WJWW, and as such, WJWW is keenly aware of the necessity of protecting the Kensico Reservoir Watershed. WJWW currently has water treatment facilities and other facilities on the Kensico Reservoir Watershed, and we have operated within the Watershed, without incident, for 75 years.
… BUT: A local developer and his affiliated organizations are obstructing efforts to advance the land swap, providing false information to the public and attempting to derail the project, thereby delaying the process and putting the health and safety of up to 100,000 Westchester County residents at risk, and causing the public via WJWW to incur tens of millions of dollars in fines.
We encourage you to get the facts from the source and exercise your right to advocate for safe water. Please visit our comprehensive informational website to learn more about this project and why we cannot allow further delays.
Urge Your Local Legislator to Approve the Land Swap by Signing the Letter Below.
This is all about the greater good, doing what’s best for the community at large. The filtration plant will ensure that an economically and ethnically diverse population receives clean drinking water for generations. The needs and health of 100,000 Westchester residents must be of paramount importance as compared to the profits and wants of real estate developers.