James Tierney

Jim Tierney HeadshotJames Tierney

Deputy Commissioner, Water Resources

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC)

James Tierney serves as the Deputy Commissioner for Water Resources within the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. James has management responsibility for all clean water programs, including: sewage and industrial wastewater treatment plants; programs to address polluted runoff from concentrated animal feeding operations, construction excavations, and urbanized areas; water quality standards; stream classifications, and water quality assessments. This includes the management of multiple grant programs often exceeding $100 million, and coordination oversight of the $1 billion Clean Water State Revolving Loan fund with the Environmental Facilities Corporation.

James' portfolio also includes dam safety, levees, flood plain mapping and management, flood resiliency planning, and the coastal erosion hazard area program – areas of responsibility that expanded dramatically after Superstorm Sandy. This responsibility includes the full array of flood mitigation and coastal hazard projects undertaken within New York in conjunction with the Army Corps of Engineers, a total project portfolio that exceeds $3 billion in value. Mr. Tierney also oversees water supply assessments and permits, the Great Lakes St. Lawrence River Compact, reservoir releases, drought monitoring, and the like.

James represents New York’s interests on multiple interstate and international commissions with respect to the water quality and water resources of the Great Lakes, Long Island Sound, the New York-New Jersey Harbor Estuary, the Susquehanna River Basin, Lake Champlain, and the Delaware River Basin. He also oversees DEC’s efforts on focused watershed basin programs aimed at protecting and improving such areas as the unfiltered New York City drinking water supply and watershed, Lake Champlain, Chesapeake Bay, the Finger Lakes, Long Island Sound, the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River, the Mohawk River Basin, and the Hudson River Estuary.

Panelist | DEC Environmental Quality Program Updates
2023 Annual Environment Conference