November 28, 2022
On July 27, 2022, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation announced an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rule Making (aka “ANPRM”). Meant to improve public input and transparency, the ANPRM is a data gathering and public outreach effort to inform anticipated future regulatory amendments.
Every water body is classified for a specific use (ie. fishing, boating, swimming). The waters in and around NYC are primarily classified as “I” which means the best usage is secondary contact and fishing (ie. no swimming).
The State was interested in learning a few things from the public:
1.) How are people using the water bodies around the State? Do the classifications match the actual use?
2.) What data and usage does the private sector have to support any reclassifications?
We shared the data we collected and analyzed with a State-certified lab in Summer 2022 to show the State of New York that the water quality at the sites we have tested meet swimming standards a majority of the time (and in some cases, just as much as existing beaches that are currently in operation)! We also shared our proposed process controls for the unique waters of the NYC harbor. These process controls are designed to ensure public safety. We have been discussing our recommendations with the City in effort to create a new framework that supports river swimming for + POOL and the river as a whole.
When we conceived of + POOL, we never imagined we would be discussing a new policy for the City of New York. We just saw that New Yorkers were cut off from their rivers and proposed a safe way to access them. But + POOL has become so much more than just a funky-shaped floating pool. It’s a launching point for larger discussions about the quality of water in our rivers and ways in which we experience our natural and built environments.