Bargain shopping with the DEP

Gov. David Paterson may be calling for a state land-buying moratorium, but the DEP's watershed land acquisition program marches on. From a department press release yesterday:

The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has submitted its application for a permit to continue to acquire land to protect the watersheds, the sources of clean drinking water for half the residents of New York State.  The permit, to be issued by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), will allow DEP to acquire additional properties to ensure that the undeveloped, environmentally-sensitive watershed lands extending more than 125 miles away from New York City remain protected.

The release states that since 2007, the city has committed $541 million to buying land to protect its watershed. But that's only about 5 percent of what the DEP says it would have to spend if the EPA ordered it to build a filtration plant for New York's drinking water. (Think Commissioner Pete Grannis feels like he made that other $9.5 billion?)