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NARRATIVE: The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) protects public health 
and the environment by supplying clean drinking water, collecting and treating wastewater, and 
reducing air, noise, and hazardous materials pollution. As the combined water supply and wastewater 
utility for the nation’s most populous municipality, we distribute more than one billion gallons of clean 
drinking water and treat 1.3 billion gallons of wastewater each day. DEP has made a concerted effort to 
embed innovative thinking and continual improvement into our agency structure, internal processes, 
and approach to stakeholder outreach, allowing us to successfully adapt to the environmental, social 
and climatic challenges of today as well as those on the horizon. As detailed in the topical segments 
below, DEP exemplifies the triple-bottom-line principles of a “Utility of the Future” through a proactive, 
holistic approach to organizational culture, community partnering and engagement, energy efficiency, 
energy generation and recovery, and watershed stewardship.   

Organizational Culture  

At DEP, we recognize that innovative performance and policies start from within. Our senior staff meets 
biweekly to discuss ongoing initiatives and stimulate challenging conversations that guide DEP’s 
pioneering efforts on technology, safety, sustainability, and social equity.   

To support our goal of fostering organizational excellence, DEP offers a wide range of technical and 
managerial training for our employees. In 2014, DEP launched a two-pronged leadership and 
management program that has engaged 725 employees to date. “Managing for Excellence” is a four-day 
intensive training for managers that underscores fundamental management strategies to motivate, 
inspire, create accountability, and improve morale. “Supervision in Action” is an introductory course 
that teaches new supervisors the skills necessary for their professional transitions. Overall, DEP 
employees logged 78,000 hours of formal training in technical and certification courses in areas such as 
Quantitative Analysis, Conflict Resolution, and Project Management in 2015.  

This year, DEP will complete a five year initiative designed to improve service delivery and enhance 
productivity by implementing industry best practices and leveraging staff expertise. The project has 
saved the city $84 million each year in cost-oriented improvements and enhanced revenue collection 
initiatives. In 2013, DEP launched a complementary program to reinforce the principles of continuous 
improvement by providing employees with an opportunity to submit and be recognized for creative 
ideas that improve efficiency and safety at DEP. DEP provided information through its internal website 
and posted signage at approximately 100 facilities notifying employees about paper-based and digital 
submission methods.   

Community Partnering and Engagement  

 

DEP’s critical services are used by every New Yorker, every single day.  Actively engaging with 
the community helps us better understand their specific concerns and challenges, so we can 
best meet their needs.  DEP partners with communities and residents through a diverse array of 
activities, such as:  

 

Regular dialogue with more than 100 local planning boards, monitoring committees, community 
organizations, and industry groups to inform the agency’s future capital investments, including 
an extensive effort to evaluate and select projects during the development of 12 Long Term 
Control Plans, Youth-focused educational programming, such as poetry contests, field trips to 
the watershed, inschool programs, and professional development trainings for teachers,