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November 10, 1997
Hon. Carol M. Browner,  Administrator  Barbara A. DeBuono, M.D., Commissioner 
Environmental Protection Agency N.Y.S. Department of Health 
Washington, DC, 20460 Corning Tower, Empire State Plaza 
Albany, NY 12237
Hon. Jeanne M. Fox
Regional Administrator Region 2 Joel A. Miele, Commissioner 
Environmental Protection Agency  Department of Environmental Protection 
290 Broadway 59-17 Junction Boulevard 
New York, NY 10007 
Corona, NY 11368 
Hon. Janet Reno, U.S. Attorney General  Dennis C. Vacco
US Department of Justice N.Y.S. Attorney General 
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW The Capitol 
Washington, DC 20530-0001 Albany, NY 12224-7330
Re: Notice of intent to file suit
      Croton Watershed


1. PLEASE NOTICE that Croton Watershed Clean Water Coalition, Inc., ("CWCWC") a New York State membership corporation, on its own behalf, and on behalf of its members, gives notice pursuant to 40 CFR part 135, subpart B; and the Safe Drinking Water Act (42 U.S.C. 300j-8) ("SDWA") intends to file a citizens suit against each of the above addressed agencies.

2. Incorporated herein by reference is the RESTATED PROPOSED ANSWER filed August 11, 1997 in the U.S. District Court for Eastern District of New York by the CWCWC in an action in which each of the addressee agencies are parties entitled: United States v. City of New York, Index No. 97 CV 2154.

Filtration avoidance determination

3. On January 13, 1993, the Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued a determination that New York City must filter water from the Croton system. That determination was based upon a so-called stipulation entered into between the N.Y.C. Department of Environmental Protection ("DEP") and the N.Y.S. Department of Health ("DOH). In making that determination the administrator did not conduct appropriate public hearings or insure that the DOH and DEP had followed the appropriate congressional mandates for public hearings in making its negative filtration avoidance determination. (See §1412(b)(7)(C)(ii) of the Safe Drinking Water Act ('SDWA')). The stipulation of the DEP and DOH is null and void because of that failure and may not be enforced.

4. CWCWC will seek to restrain construction of a filtration plant until such notice and hearings are held or in the alternative ask the Court to appoint a special master to hear and report recommendations on what the protection of public health requires in the Croton watershed.

Title VI

5. The failure of the City, State and EPA to protect adequately the Croton Watershed from unfettered development and the refusal to undertake a meaningful program of filtration avoidance have a "disparate impact" on persons of color and violate Section 601 of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and 40 CFR § 7.30. The CWCWC includes members who are persons of color and on whose behalf it acts. The CWCWC will seek to avoid the determinations of no filtration avoidance and the aforesaid stipulation on the grounds that those decisions further policies which violate Title VI and the regulations of the EPA promulgated pursuant thereto.

General Relief

6. In addition to setting aside the above-mentioned filtration avoidance determinations, the CWCWC will request the Court enter such judgment as protection of public health may require (42 U.S.C. § 300g-3(b))

No Admission

7. The service of this notice is in no ways constitutes an admission by the CWCWC that service was necessary as a condition precedent to any action it may commence.

Attorney for CWCWC
885 Third Avenue, Suite 2900
New York, NY 10022-4834
(212) 829-4452
Contact: John Klotz  Return to Klotz Law Homepage