In April of 1997, far-reaching regulations aimed at the protection of New York City's (City's) drinking water supply went into effect. The Watershed Agreement was reached after more than two years of delicate negotiations by the City, the Coalition of Watershed Towns, the State of New York, the Environmental Protection Agency and a handful of environmental groups. Under this celebrated compromise, the City will spend $1.2 billion to protect its water supply at its source, rather than construct a physically massive and extraordinarily expensive filtration plant that would be required by the federal government under the Safe Drinking Water Act. If the Watershed Agreement is to succeed, however, the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP)-the City agency charged with the duty to implement Watershed protection and enforce the new regulations-must fundamentally reform itself. Presently, Watershed protection is hampered by a toothless enforcement regime with conflicting departmental objectives. This Article examines the institutional culture of mismanagement that plagues the DEP, which jeopardizes the water quality and health of nine million consumers.
Recommended CitationRobert F. Kennedy Jr., A Culture of Mismanagement: Environmental Protection and Enforcement at the New York City Department of Environmental Protection, 15 Pace Envtl. L. Rev. 233 (1997)
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