2017-10-11 / Front Page

Sapienza appointed to lead DEP

Had been serving as acting comm. for over a year
By Joan Lawrence-Bauer

Vincent Sapienza, a longtime employee of the New York City Department of Environmental Protection and its recent acting commissioner for more than a year, now has official appointment to the post.

Sapienza received the “permanent” appointment from Mayor Bill DeBlasio, news that locals say is good for this region. The naming of a DEP Commissioner is important to residents in the New York City Watershed because of the outsized level of control the agency has over living and working conditions in the region.

According to his website biography, the new commissioner joined the DEP in 1983 and “has dedicated his career to protecting and improving New York City’s critical water infrastructure.” Before stepping in to the Commissioner’s role, Sapienza served as a Deputy Commissioner in the DEP’s Bureau of Engineering Design and Construction and managed capital improvement programs including construction of the Croton Water Filtration Plant. He is a New York State Licensed Professional Engineer and holds a B.S. from Columbia University and an MBA from Hofstra University’s School of Business.

Alan Rosa, Executive Director of the Catskill Watershed Corporation, which manages a multi-million dollar portfolio of partnership programs with the DEP said he is optimistic about Sapienza’s tenure. “He’s been serving in the post for awhile now,” said Rosa. “He’s been here twice and we’ve found him to be personable and easy to work with.” Rosa, who has seen his share of commissioner’s come and go, added that “it helps that he’s been around for awhile. He listens carefully and he knows what’s going on.”

Among the more important CWC initiatives on the table at the moment is the construction of a new building on County Rt. 38 in Arkville to house DEP staff along with the CWC and a Watershed Museum/Interpretive Center. Rosa said that Sapienza has supported the effort which is expected to be reviewed by the Middletown Planning Board again this month.

Rosa told the News that the project, expected to help DEP and watershed communities work more closely with each other, should also bring increased economic activity in the region. He hopes to be able to put our RFP’s for construction this winter.

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