Monroe County has seen many improvements in its Environmental Quality through the coordinated efforts of county agencies, local governments, various voluntary organizations and many involved citizens.
Monroe County has placed special emphasis on water quality through the years because of the presence of Lake Ontario and the Genesee River. As a result of education and pollution prevention efforts, watershed planning, and research/monitoring, we have realized significant improvements in the Rochester Embayment, the Genesee River and in Irondequoit Bay.
In a recent public opinion survey, more than 50% of respondents felt that water quality in Monroe County will be even better in 20 years and more than 90% agreed that people need to learn more about water quality issues.
Preventing environmental pollution is an important public health activity. Monroe County has implemented a number of pollution prevention programs including:
Learn more at the Auto Recyclers Guide to a Cleaner Environment.
Learn more about Reducing Mercury Use In Healthcare.
Other Useful Materials
One of several such committees in New York State, the Water Quality Coordinating Committee has several roles including making recommendations on the use of grant funds and providing advice on new water quality policies and strategies. Support by this committee has resulted in securing numerous grants.
Monroe County’s surface and groundwater resources are protected and continuously improved to maximize their ecological value for sustainable consumption, recreation, and natural habitat.
The Monroe County Water Quality Coordinating Committee is a group representing municipalities, agencies, and organizations that conducts planning, education, regulation, or operations that affect water quality. The Committee identifies water quality problems, prioritizes needed actions, seeks funding for projects, coordinates programming, and recommends policy to protect and improve our water resources in Monroe County and its watersheds.
What and Why?
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC), in conjunction with the State Soil and Water Conservation Committee fostered the creation of committees to coordinate activities at a local level. This was done as part of the State’s Non Point Source Water Quality Program.
Counties were selected as the organizing unit for these committees to provide well-defined areas of jurisdiction for the agencies likely to be involved. Each county group was asked to develop a strategy that would guide water quality activities in the county. The NYSDEC and the State Committee provided written guidance to the county WQCCs on developing and implementing these water quality strategies. While this guidance offers suggestions on which agencies should be invited to participate in the committee, no attempt was made to require a particular make up of the committee. The intent was to provide flexibility to each county to determine the exact make up of their committee.
The strategies were to form a blueprint for action in each county. To ensure some level of consistency for the county strategies, the Soil and Water Conservation Committee and the NYSDEC came up with a set of minimum requirements. At a minimum, county strategies needed to include:
Small grants encouraged county Water Quality Coordinating Committees to develop their strategy and then to implement some elements of it. Initial grants of $4,750 were made available to every county. Fifty five of the fifty-seven eligible counties completed their strategy in time to qualify for this initial payment.
In subsequent years, smaller sums have been made available to counties, $2,500 in FY94 and, in FY95, grants of $4,000 in two tiers. Using FY96 funds, grants of $1,000 were available for every county. Additional grants of up to $7,500 per county have been made available on a competitive basis.
Most of the above text was copied from Non Point Source Management Program, 1997 Update, October, 1997, Prepared by NYSDEC. Thanks to Matt Gillette, Region 8 NYSDEC for providing this information.
The role of the Monroe County Water Quality Management Agency (WQMA) is to protect and improve Monroe County water quality at the watershed level by developing, implementing and monitoring the effectiveness of policies and programs. The WQMA is chaired by Deputy County Executive Richard Mackey and is comprised primarily of Monroe County department heads, the Executive Director of the Water Authority and representatives from the Legislature and the other municipalities in Monroe County.
The Monroe County Pesticide Neighbor Notification Law became effective January 1, 2006. It requires various groups applying pesticides to provide certain types of notification to neighbors.
This story provides the highlights that each group is required to follow. There are a number of guidance materials attached below that provide very detailed information about how to comply with the law. Failure to comply with the law can result in fines.
There are four basic groups that must comply with this law. The primary notification requirement is listed for each group:
Note: It is important to understand that this law only covers products (pesticides, herbicides, fungicides) meant to kill weeds, lawn insects (such as grubs), and other garden and tree pests. The law does not apply to applications of fertilizer. A number of products and practices are exempt from the law. See below for a list of exemptions and other more detailed explanations of the law.
To report a violation or to have questions answered about the Pesticide Neighbor Notification Law, contact the Monroe County Department of Public Health at 753-PEST (753-7378) or by e-mail. If reporting a violation, please be prepared to provide:
Visit the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation website for more information.
The Water Education Collaborative is a coalition of public and private organizations that work together to inspire residents to help protect and improve water quality in the lakes and streams of the Genesee Region watershed.
The Water Education Collaborative is headquartered at the Rochester Museum and Science Center. For further information, call 585 271-4552 ext. 324.
There are agencies at all levels of government (international, national, state, regional and county), as well as private organizations, that help to protect water quality.
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