After advocacy by NYLCV and other environmental groups, the Clean Water Infrastructure Act passed as part of the State budget in 2017. The law represents a $2.5 billion investment to improve drinking water infrastructure and water quality protection across the State.
Approximately $1.5 billion was allocated for water infrastructure improvement grants, $75 million for rebate programs that incentivize homeowners and businesses to upgrade wastewater systems, and $110 million for green infrastructure and water protection initiatives, such as land acquisition. The funding also encourages shared services and prioritizes community-based planning to tackle water quality issues specific to certain areas.
Healthier drinking and wastewater systems lead to better public and environmental health outcomes. Making these improvements will also stimulate the economy.
Last month, Governor Cuomo announced specific investments funded by the CWIA for different regions in the state. The grants will be put toward clean wastewater treatment projects and drinking water infrastructure. These infrastructure projects also include $19 million to address toxins associated with Harmful Algae Blooms (HABS) and emerging contaminants such as PFOA, PFOS, and 1,4 dioxane that can cause major health issues.
New Yorkers can look forward to:
- Capital Region: $41.5 million in grants to support 20 infrastructure projects, including $741,000 to address cyanotoxins associated with HABS, providing $89.4 million in taxpayer savings and the creation of approximately 2,000 jobs.
- Finger Lakes: $24.6 million in grants to support 19 infrastructure projects, including $5.6 million to combat cyanotoxins associated with harmful algal blooms (HABS), providing $76 million in savings for taxpayers and the creation of 1,900 jobs.
- Central New York: $12.4 million in grants to support 11 infrastructure projects, including $2.1 million to address cyanotoxins associated with harmful algal blooms, providing $30 million in savings for taxpayers and the creation of 720 jobs.
- Western New York: $23.3 million in grants for 14 infrastructure projects including nearly $3 million to address cyanotoxins associated with HABS, providing $47.9 million in savings for taxpayers, and creating more than 1,100 new jobs.
- Mohawk Valley: $25.2 in grants for 14 projects, providing $73 million saved for taxpayers, and creating at least 3,300 jobs.
- Southern Tier: $22.0 million in grants to support 11 projects, including over $3 million to address cyanotoxins associated with HABS, providing $47 million in savings and 3,200 jobs created.
- North Country: $24.6 million in investments, including nearly $6 million to address cyanotoxins associated with HABS, providing 63.4 million in savings for taxpayers and the creation of over 1,400 jobs.
- Hudson Valley: $49.1 million in grants for 38 infrastructure projects, $104.5 in savings for taxpayers and over 2,500 jobs created.
- Long Island: $36.1 million in grants for 13 infrastructure projects, including $14 million to combat emerging contaminants in drinking water, $58.7 million in taxpayer savings and over 1,100 jobs created.
It is a crucial time to address New York’s water infrastructure issues and we are excited by the steps that have been taken by Governor Cuomo and the State Legislature.
NYLCV will continue to advocate for legislation that works towards these concerns, and continue to educate the public about the importance of sustainable water infrastructure for the environment, public health, and the economy.