MakingWaves - Data Solicitation For Saline Waters; New WET Testing Requirement; DEC's Electric Boat; HABs Notifications; National Water Quality Month

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
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MakingWaves - News From the Division of Water

In This Issue:

  • Data Solicitation for Potential Reclassification of Saline Waters
  • ELAP Certification Required for Labs Conducting Whole Effluent Toxicity Tests
  • DEC’s First Electric Boat
  • Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB) Notifications
  • August is National Water Quality Month

Data Solicitation for Potential Reclassification of Saline Waters

DEC has announced an opportunity for the public to provide data that could help inform the possible reclassification of saline waters of the State and associated amendments to applicable water quality standards. An Advanced Notice of Proposed Rule Making (ANPRM) was filed with the NYS Department of State on July 27, 2022. The ANPRM is not a regulatory action, but an opportunity to gather stakeholder data to inform future regulatory changes, if appropriate. 

The data solicitation period will be open for 90 days, closing at midnight on October 25. During this period, DEC will hold two public information meetings:

  • August 31, 2022 at 6:00 p.m.: Public webinar
  • September 29, 2022 at 2:00 p.m.: In-person meeting at DEC's Region 2 office in Long Island City

Find details about the ANPRM, the information meetings, and supporting documents on DEC's ANPRM webpage. View the ANPRM announcement in the July 27th Environmental Notice Bulletin and NY State Register (PDF)

ELAP Certification Required for Labs Conducting Whole Effluent Toxicity  Tests

Starting January 1, 2023, DEC will require municipal and industrial wastewater treatment facilities to use labs certified under the NYS Department of Health (DOH) Environmental Laboratory Approval Program (ELAP) for all Whole Effluent Toxicity (WET) testing.

This past January DOH notified impacted labs about the ELAP certification process. DEC followed up this summer with a reminder to labs that conduct WET testing and a message to the impacted wastewater treatment facilities explaining the new requirement.

DEC encourages the wastewater treatment facilities that are required to complete WET testing after January 1, 2023 to ensure that the lab they are using has received the DOH ELAP certification or is in the process of obtaining it. Taking this step may avoid potential compliance issues.

Direct inquiries about ELAP to DOH at Contact DEC at for questions about the WET testing program.

DEC’s First Electric Boat

Division of Water's new electric boat

Look for DEC's first all-electric boat on the water! The vessel is being used by the Division of Water’s Finger Lakes Water Quality Hub to conduct water sampling operations on the smaller Finger Lakes. It features a rehabbed hull (a reuse project) and has a 20 horsepower outboard electric motor that can power the boat at 8 to 10 MPH. The batteries are designed to give it a range of up to 60 miles of operation.

Division of Water staff are keeping track of how it operates so that it can be compared to its fossil fuel powered counterparts in terms of cost of operation and maintenance requirements. Benefits of the electric motor include lower greenhouse gas emissions and the elimination of small engine air emissions and the potential for a fuel spill on the water. The motor is also much quieter than a comparable fossil fuel powered motor.

Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB) Notifications

HABs in Mill Pond

Visit NYHABS, DEC's harmful algal bloom notification map to view locations of freshwater HABs in New York State that were reported in the past two weeks. Click on a dot for more information, including the date it was reported, the waterbody name, and pictures. Click on the arrow at the bottom of the screen to view a list of reported HABs. Instructions on how to use NYHABS are on DEC's HABs notification webpage.

Know it: HABs vary in appearance from scattered green dots in the water, to long, linear green streaks, pea soup, or spilled green paint, to blue-green or white coloration.

Avoid it: People, pets, and livestock should avoid contact with floating mats, scums, and discolored water.

Report it: Report a suspected HAB using the NYHABS online reporting form. Report health concerns related to HABs to the Department of Health at, or contact your local health department.

August is National Water Quality Month

National Water Quality Month was founded in 2005 by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to bring attention to, and talk about, what we can do in our own households and communities to ensure that everyone has access to safe, clean drinking water for generations to come.

It is a good time to check out DEC's Watershed Stewardship webpage and Drinking Water Source Protection Program