1 2018 Strategic Plan Enriching Our Legacy Cover Photo Credit: Ben Solomon and New York City Kayak Championships Vincent Sapienza, Commissioner Dear Friends: At the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), we have the critical mission to enrich the environment and protect public health for all New Yorkers by providing high quality drinking water, managing wastewater and storm- water, and reducing air, noise, and hazardous materials pollution. Over the past year, we worked across our organization to identify opportunities to improve services and to prepare DEP for the challenges ahead.
2 Today, I am pleased to present the culmination of that effort, 2018 Strategic Plan: Enriching our Legacy. Building on a strong history of Strategic planning spanning more than two centuries, this plan outlines seven goals and forty-three specific initiatives that will guide our priorities as we strive to achieve our vision to be a world class water and wastewater utility, while building a sustainable future for all New Yorkers. As we developed this plan, we tackled not only the questions of what we needed to achieve, but how we intend to do so. We identified eight core values that under- score the very essence of how we do business; those values are safety, integrity, service, support, diversity, transparency, sustainability, and innovation.
3 The only way we can achieve our goals is through the hard work and dedication of the 6,000 talented employees that make DEP the agency it is today. Their com- mitment to DEP's mission, vision, and values will make New York a better place to live, work, and enjoy life today and tomorrow. Sincerely, Vincent Sapienza, Commissioner TABLE OF CONTENTS. 7. OUR OUR Goal: Provide world-class and sustainable water and wastewater services now and for future 16. Goal: Control local sources of pollution to improve quality of 24. Goal: Reduce our carbon impact and mitigate the effects of climate change.
4 28. Goal: Increase public awareness of our operations and improve service to our customers and the business community .. 32. Goal: Cultivate a diverse and highly qualified workforce to meet future Goal: Maximize operational efficiencies across the agency ..40. Goal: Leverage innovative approaches to improve INTRODUCTION. The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) holds the critical mission of enriching the environment and protecting public health for all New Yorkers by providing high quality drinking water, managing wastewater and stormwater, and reducing air, noise, and hazardous materials pollution.
5 Kensico Reservoir 7. Ashokan Reservoir The New York City water supply system was established more than 175 years ago when City officials recognized that the existing water resources could not support the continued growth of the burgeoning metropolis. Their vision and the toil of gen- erations of laborers eventually led to the creation of a dynamic, living water supply system spanning 2,000 square miles in upstate New York more than six times the size of New York City itself. This engineering marvel delivers more than a billion gal- lons of drinking water, nearly entirely by gravity, from as far as 125 miles away to nine million New Yorkers and millions of visitors and tourists every day.
6 Similarly, public health sanitarians in the late 19th century recognized that New York was facing a public health crisis, as waste from residents clogged the streets and caused waves of cholera and other diseases. At first, their primary objective was simply to move wastewater away from the masses, so sewers were built to convey flow directly from homes and businesses to the harbor waters. Over time, the har- bor became polluted and wildlife left our shores. In 1904, the City established the Metropolitan Sewerage Commission to develop a comprehensive plan to protect the City's waterways.
7 Based on that plan, the City constructed over a 56-year period fourteen wastewater treatment plants that treat an average of billion gallons of wastewater each day. In 1977, the City consolidated the functions of water supply delivery and wastewater treatment to create the Department of Environmental Protection. This newly created agency was also charged with regulating air quality, noise, and hazardous materials. Continuous evolution of environmental policy including regulatory requirements have 8. broadened DEP's role in environmental protection and sustainability.
8 Today, DEP. employs nearly 6,000 people across the City and in our upstate watershed to carry out our important mission. In 1985, New York State legislature passed the New York City Municipal Water Finance Authority Act. The Act created two public authorities that, working in tan- dem with the City of New York, provide a dedicated stream of funds to fully support the water and sewer system. The first of these public authorities, the New York City Water Board, is responsible for establishing water and sewer rates that raise reve- nues sufficient to meet the system's financial obligations.
9 The other, the New York City Municipal Water Finance Authority, is responsible for issuing investment bonds that finance the system's capital improvement program. Our vision is to be a world class water and wastewater utility, while building a sustainable future for all New Yorkers. Building upon DEP's legacy of long-term planning, the seven goals and forty-three Strategic initiatives outlined in this plan demonstrate our commitments to the pub- lic, our customers, colleagues, and regulators. Given the magnitude and scope of our responsibilities, many of our initiatives are complex and their implementation will span years, if not decades.
10 As we developed this plan, we considered a variety of factors, including current and upcoming federal and state mandates, financial plans, institutional knowledge, tech- nological trends, workforce demographics, customer service responsibilities, and the economic impact of water rates on our customers. This plan continues to place an emphasis on our core values, which celebrate DEP's fundamental beliefs in what matters as we go about performing our work and serv- ing our customers. Our commitment to these core values enhances the likelihood that we will not only achieve our goals, but also sustain a culture that results in cus- tomer satisfaction and an inspired and engaged workforce.