New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has named Vincent Sapienza as the Commissioner of the City’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). During his 34 years with DEP, Sapienza has served in leadership posts for several of the key operating divisions, has overseen major capital improvements and managed during emergencies, including Hurricane Sandy. Sapienza has been serving as the Acting Commissioner of the department since the retirement of former Commissioner Emily Lloyd, during the summer of 2016.
“All 8.5 million New Yorkers rely every day on the essential services provided by DEP, including a reliable supply of the best tap water in the world, and that is one reason Vinny’s over three decades of experience at the department make him the ideal candidate to be its next leader,” said Mayor de Blasio. “Vinny has also led DEP’s wastewater treatment bureau, which is primarily responsible for the incredible rebound in the health of our waterways, and the department’s capital improvement program, one of the largest in the region. Moving forward we will work together to ensure that we maintain reasonable water and sewer rates, while continuing to push forward critical infrastructure projects that are essential to the future of our city.”
In the coming years, Sapienza will oversee several projects critical to New York City including finalizing the Filtration Avoidance Determination for the City’s West of Hudson reservoirs, building the Delaware Aqueduct Bypass Tunnel 600 feet below the Hudson River and preparing for the shutdown of the Aqueduct in 2022. He will also push to continue the work to improve the health of New York Harbor, including the ongoing build-out of the City’s ambitious Green Infrastructure program.
“Having spent 34 years with DEP, across several different operating divisions, I know many of my colleagues personally and we are committed to our mission to protect public health and the environment in New York City,” said Sapienza. “I want to thank Mayor de Blasio for the opportunity to lead the department as we confront several challenges, including the repair of the Delaware Aqueduct, continued improvements to our wastewater collection and treatment system and the buildout of the most ambitious green infrastructure program in the country, expansion of the successful Bluebelt program on Staten Island and the creation of a more robust drainage system in southeast Queens.”
Since joining DEP in 1983, Sapienza has dedicated his career to protecting and improving New York City’s critical water infrastructure. Prior to his role as Acting Commissioner, Sapienza served as Deputy Commissioner for DEP’s Bureau of Engineering Design and Construction, where he managed the water and wastewater capital improvement programs, including the construction of the $3.2 billion Croton Water Filtration Plant in the Bronx. He has also served as Deputy Commissioner of DEP’s Bureau of Wastewater Treatment, where he oversaw the collection and treatment of wastewater and led the effort to create the NYC Wastewater Resiliency Plan. Sapienza 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.