- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 7, 2014

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - A federal waiver that allows New York City to avoid filtering its drinking water has been revised to include new watershed protections in the wake of tropical storms Irene and Lee.

State health officials say Wednesday they have finalized revisions to a waiver that allows the city to avoid building a budget-busting water filtration plant for its upstate reservoirs. The current waiver runs through 2017.

The new rules seek to address the sort of devastation wrought by major storms in 2011. The city must provide a cost-share for properties participating in federal flood buy-out and emergency watershed protection programs and it must develop its own flood buy-out program.

The revisions also require New York City to complete an increased number of stream restoration projects aimed at reducing muddiness.