DEC to DEP: Clean up your act

The Times Herald-Record's Adam Bosch reports that the state Department of Enviromental Conservation is pressuring the New York City Department of Environmental Protection to develop a better plan for releasing water from the Ashokan Reservoir into the lower Esopus -- one that doesn't result in the creek looking like "Willy Wonka's chocolate river" most of the time.

The state sharpened its focus here in September after receiving a complaint from the Lower Esopus Watershed Partnership, a group of seven municipalities along the creek.

The group warned releases of turbid water, or water filled with clay and dirt, threatened the creek.

DEC records show the city released more than 27 billion gallons of turbid water into the Lower Esopus Creek since October. This month alone, it has released an average of 472 million gallons per day.

Those huge releases have turned the Lower Esopus into a moving pool of chocolate milk.

"It's not acceptable," DEC Regional Director Willie Janeway said. "We agree that these issues need to be addressed and we're confident that DEP will work with us."

State, NYC, and local officials will be meeting on Friday to discuss the muddy Esopus.