Some Big Names Endorse Desal Plant


WEST NYACK, NY, April 25, 2013 – New York Senator Bill Larkin, the Construction Industry Council of the Hudson Valley, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Mid-Hudson Region and the New York State Conference of NAACP Branches, the Rockland Business Association, and the Building & Construction Trades Council of Rockland County today announced their support and endorsement of the Haverstraw Water Supply Project.

These endorsements represent an estimated 189,000 individual members from across Rockland County and the Hudson Valley who support the approval and construction of the water project.

The new plant is necessary because Rockland County is facing a water supply deficit and the New York State Public Service Commission ordered United Water to have a new, long-term water supply online by the end of 2015.

“This project is critical as we work to rebuild the state’s infrastructure,” said Senator Bill Larkin. “Rockland needs more water now and that’s why almost 80 experts from the state and the county as well as from outside government have studied the problems and the solutions for over a decade. It is essential that this project be approved for Rockland’s future and for the future of its residents.”

“We hear the same issues from coast to coast: the state of our nation’s infrastructure is poor and something must be done,” said Ross Pepe, president of the Construction Industry Council of the Hudson Valley. “The Haverstraw Water Supply Project is exactly what Rockland County needs: a state-of-the-art-facility using state-of-the-art-technology to makes sure the county has a new long-term water supply.”

Regional NAACP director Wilbur Aldridge said, “My colleagues and I had an opportunity to meet with United Water experts who walked us through the pilot facility and explained the purification system, which is the gold standard of the water industry. This has been a truly transparent process. United Water has worked closely with the community every step of the way and we have every reason to support this project.”

“The Haverstraw Water Supply Project will play a big part in economic development and retaining business, particularly with the new Tappan Zee Bridge underway,” said Rockland Business Association president Al Samuels. “This is clearly the best choice to provide Rockland businesses with a safe, reliable and cost-efficient water supply.”

“On behalf of the 21 trades and 83,000 members that make up the Rockland County Building and Construction Trades Council, I am proud to support this project,” said John Maraia, president. “It is critical for Rockland County, which needs a new long-term water supply to meet the growing need, to sustain the economic future, and to create jobs.”

“This kind of support shows just how important this project is,” said Michael Pointing, vice president and general manager for United Water New York. “Rockland needs water and this project will get us on track to have a new long-term supply online by 2015, in keeping with our order from the state.”

The project will create as many as 2,458 direct and indirect jobs in Rockland County, and will deliver over $70 million in new property tax assessments, and real estate tax revenues of around $5 million by 2016. When the project is complete, it will generate over $7 million in taxes each year to benefit the Town of Haverstraw, North Rockland Central School District, and Rockland County. Rockland will also benefit from an estimated $114 million in direct expenditures during and after the project’s construction.

The Haverstraw Water Supply Project will use reverse osmosis, the gold standard in water purification technology used across the country and around the world. Nearly 10,000 samples taken from United Water’s Haverstraw Pilot Facility have shown that the water meets or surpasses EPA standards, even during severe storms and turbulent river conditions.

For 25 years, United Water has worked hard to keep pace with the growing demand for more water by investing in infrastructure, adding small sources of supply and promoting conservation. As a result, Rockland has achieved one of the best conservation records in the region. While the average American uses 90-100 gallons of water per day, the average Rockland resident uses only 66 gallons of water per day.

However, the New York State Public Service Commission (PSC) and Rockland County officials agreed that the need for water is “above that which can be achieved” through further conservation. In 2006 and again in 2010, after thorough consideration and expert testimony from the Rockland County Department of Health, New York State decided Rockland could not wait any longer and ordered United Water to have a long-term source of supply online by the end of 2015.

The growth that Rockland County has seen over the past few decades paints a picture of why this additional source is needed. The county’s population skyrocketed by 10 percent between 2000 and 2010. The County of Rockland, Cornell University, the New York Metropolitan Transportation Council and others project 20 percent growth by 2035.

Dr. Daniel Miller, head of the Rockland County Department of Health Water Bureau, reiterated the urgent need for a new water source at a public meeting of the County Water Quality Committee on March 12, 2013.

United Water’s team of qualified water industry experts researched over a dozen projects and selected three viable options including the Haverstraw project, building the Ambrey Reservoir and wastewater reuse. The Haverstraw Water Supply Project is the best solution to provide a reliable, sustainable and purified source of drinking water because it is the least costly to consumers, the most environmentally sensitive and the most drought-tolerant option.


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