Westchester County Airport, as part of its effort to protect the environment, monitors the quality of stormwater discharges from the airport to Blind Brook and tributaries to Rye Lake.
This water quality monitoring is conducted in accordance with a stormwater discharge permit – State Pollution Elimination Discharge System (SPDES) Permit No. NY0075132 – issued by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) pursuant to the Federal Clean Water Act. This insures that the Kensico Reservoir and Blind Brook are not adversely impacted by activities at the airport.
Currently, the airport environment department collects water samples from five water quality sampling points on the airport every month. These samples are submitted to a certified water quality testing laboratory for analysis of the water quality “parameters” specified in the Airport’s SPDES permit. Based upon the laboratory’s results, the environmental department completes a monthly Discharge Monitoring Report (DMR) and submits it to the NYSDEC.
To further insure the protection of the Kensico Reservoir from possible impacts due to aircraft deicing operations at the airport, the Westchester County Department of Health and the airport have voluntarily conducted a drinking water quality monitoring program since 1999. Whenever the Airport needs to apply more than 2,000 gallons of aircraft deicing fluid to aircraft during a 24-hour period, the airport environment department notifies the Department of Health’s Bureau of Environmental Quality. The Bureau of Environmental Quality then collects samples at seven locations in the water distribution system and these samples are sent to a certified laboratory for analysis.
Over the 10 years this voluntary water quality monitoring has been conducted, no indication of adverse impact of airport deicing operations has been observed.
To protect waterways surrounding the airport from polluted runoff caused by chemicals such as fuel spills, the airport has installed catch basin inserts in the critical storm drains and currently has 54 ‘Ultra-Urban Filters’ in place.
The airport has also been singled out by stormwater professionals for its extraordinary efforts to protect water quality as part of its environmental management system.
In 2010, the airport worked with a consultant to update its Stormwater Management Plan to improve its protection of water quality. The airport also wants to assure communities in the Blind Brook watershed that it is meeting its responsibilities of mitigating stormwater runoff impacts.