Adirondack Council Releases Report on Solving New York’s Water Infrastructure Crisis

By: Morgan Block

Busted pipes and deteriorating wastewater and sewage treatment facilities are causing a growing water quality crisis in New York. Many of the state’s once pristine bodies of water are being polluted by failing wastewater treatment plants, including the Adirondack Park region. Many organizations are taking a stand for clean water at the state level, and the Adirondack Council has developed plans to remediate the water crisis in the Adirondack Park region, starting with the creation of the Adirondack Park Clean Water Infrastructure Report. The Adirondack Council plans to use this Report to help the communities of the Adirondacks better understand the water issues that plague the Adirondack Region.

The Report highlights the need to renew state and local commitments to protect the water of the Adirondacks, in the form of legislation, grants, and local engagement. The Adirondack Park is especially vital to maintain the quality of New York’s waterways, as the Hudson River and four other major rivers flow through the Adirondack Region. Currently, illegal discharges, the excess use of road salt, and failing wastewater treatment systems all pose a significant risk to the safety of the Adirondack Park’s water.

The Adirondack Council plans to use some of the legislation that is already in place, like the New York State Water Infrastructure Improvement Act of 2015, in its fight to improve water quality. The report also shows the need to utilize clean water grants to update out-of-date wastewater systems. By laying out what grants the Adirondack Region has already used, the Report provides a better plan for the Adirondack communities to work towards achieving cleaner water. The Water Infrastructure Improvement Act of 2015 is set to expire soon, and The Adirondack Council’s report highlights the need to extend this important source of funding, for projects all over New York, and not just the Adirondack Region.

The New York League of Conservation hopes to see a total of $800 million in clean water grants and loans allocated to the New York State Budget in order to revive New York State’s crumbling water infrastructure. The Adirondack Park Clean Water Infrastructure Report provides a solid example for other municipalities in New York State to follow suit and implement water infrastructure projects of their own.