Department of Environmental Police abuse is a problem not so much in Tioga county, but two counties over in Delaware county all the way to New York City, the DEP is a major concern for local residents. This web site is a resource for other Libertarian candidates running for office in New York so I want to see input on this topic even though this doesn't apply much for the Town of Owego.
Essentially what is happening is that New York City is forcing their water treatment costs out to rural regions. The eminent domain abuse and land capture to build large reservoirs in surrounding counties is bad enough, then the DEP goes a step further and hyper-regulates activities of property owners who live near these reservoirs. The costs of all of this activity is very high:
- The economic loss of not putting the land to use for farming or something else, but rather flooding it to make it into a reservoir.
- The limitation of activities in the reservoir itself, so that local residents don't get as much benefit from the body of water.
- The costs to pay the DEP staff and run their operations (not a local imposition, but a cost nonetheless).
- Limitations on ability to farm and do other things near the reservoirs due to DEP restrictions.
- Re-routing of roads and added driving time for commuters to skirt their way around the reservoirs to get from point A to point B.
The reservoirs are now built so there is only so much reversal of policy we can implement. But one concept would be to throttle back on DEP oversight of these regions, and instead push the water monitoring and filtration costs back closer to the point of use. Monitor and clean the water at treatment plants closer to the city.
This is how we do it upstate. Drinking water sources for many municipal systems come from a combination of wells and rivers. River water is not hyper-regulated but rather the municipality expects a need to clean and filter the water to make it fit for use. Municipal governments upstate don't have the power to impose their will upon surrounding neighbors in order to keep rivers ultra clean. Federal EPA and state DEC rules apply to keep waterways quite clean as it is, the DEP is another layer of protection which escalates costs considerably.