Governor Kathy Hochul announced the Environmental Facilities Corporation has approved more than $62 million in funding for critical wastewater and drinking water system improvements. The short-term financing packages, including previously announced grants, approved by the Board will provide the capital needed by two municipalities and a public authority to undertake their water infrastructure construction projects with estimated total costs of over $84 million, to protect public health and the environment.
"This funding is critical to supporting New York's water quality goals by providing local communities with resources to upgrade and maintain critical wastewater and drinking water systems," Governor Hochul said. "My administration is committed to collaborating with our partners in local government to ensure communities of all sizes can invest in water infrastructure, sparking job creation and economic growth while protecting public health and improving quality of life in these communities."
The Board's approvals include financings through the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) and Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) and grants already awarded pursuant to the Water Infrastructure Improvement (WIIA) grants program. Visit EFC's website to learn more about water infrastructure funding opportunities.
The Board approved grant and financing packages for two wastewater projects:
- Buffalo Sewer Authority in Erie County - $45.9 million to upgrade the secondary treatment system at the Bird Island Wastewater Treatment Plant. The grant and financing package includes $9,054,768 in WIIA grant, $9,054,768 in federal grant or loan forgiveness, $19,901,107 in short-term, interest-free financing, and $7,837,947 in short-term, market-rate financing.
- Washington County - $1,630,400 WIIA grant and $12,836,201 in short-term, interest-free financing to upgrade the Sewer District No. 2 wastewater treatment plant.
A $1,710,000 WIIA grant was also approved for the City of Yonkers in Westchester County. The grant will support an approximately $2.7 million drinking water project to install 2,000 linear feet of water main and related fixtures along Warburton Avenue, Lamartine Avenue and Ashburton Avenue to interconnect the city's high- and low-pressure zones.
Environmental Facilities Corporation President & CEO Maureen A. Coleman said, "Today's announcement is a shining example of how collaboration between state and local governments can make a real difference in the lives of New Yorkers. Thanks to the hard work of Governor Hochul and our Legislative and municipal partners, communities can undertake projects that replace aging water infrastructure and protect our waters."
Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner and EFC Chair Basil Seggos said, "These funds are critical to ensuring that necessary upgrades are made to the State's clean water infrastructure. Under Governor Hochul's leadership and commitment to protecting New York's water quality and record investments to help us achieve our goals, DEC is proud to work with EFC in advancing these important projects to sustain the health of our communities, environment, and economy."
Secretary of State Robert J. Rodriguez said, "Providing clean and safe drinking water is one of the most critical infrastructure improvements New York can provide to municipalities across the state. I applaud Governor Hochul for continuing her commitment to modernize and rebuild wastewater and drinking water systems that are essential to public health, the economy and for communities in every corner of the state."
New York State Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett said, "Clean drinking water and health equity go hand-in-hand and New York State is working expeditiously with local governments to get significant funding for drinking water upgrades into the communities that need it the most. I urge localities, particularly those in environmental justice communities, to apply for state funding to help off-set costs for these critical public health infrastructure projects.
New York's Commitment to Water Quality
New York continues to increase investments in clean water infrastructure projects. Governor Hochul in April announced $638 million awarded though EFC to communities statewide to fund clean water infrastructure projects.
Under the leadership of Governor Hochul, the Enacted Budget included another $500 million in clean water infrastructure funding, bringing the State's total clean water investment to $4.5 billion since 2017. It also authorizes an additional $1.2 billion, for a total of $4.2 billion, for the landmark Clean Water, Clean Air, and Green Jobs Environmental Bond Act. This historic initiative, to be taken up by voters later this year, will provide the support New York needs to provide safe water to drink, invest in critical water infrastructure, restore environmental habitats, reduce flood risks, and preserve our outdoor spaces and local farms. It will also enable investment in climate change mitigation and adaptation projects that will reduce air pollution, lower carbon emissions and improve the ability of New York communities to withstand the climate-driven increase in severe weather events and flooding. The Bond Act will also support a substantial investment in the Clean Green Schools initiative that will reach every public school located in a disadvantaged community.
In addition to the Clean Water, Clean Air, and Green Jobs Environmental Bond Act, the Budget includes a record $400 million Environmental Protection Fund to support climate change mitigation and adaptation efforts, improve agricultural resources to promote sustainable agriculture, protect our water sources, advance conservation efforts, and provide recreational opportunities for New Yorkers.
Local Governments Encouraged to Participate in Clean Watersheds Needs Survey
EFC is urging municipalities to participate in the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Clean Watersheds Needs Survey, which EFC kicked off in New York on March 1. Participation is critical as it may impact how much federal Clean Water State Revolving Fund dollars will be allocated to New York State to fund future clean water infrastructure projects. Municipalities are asked to document their community's wastewater infrastructure needs for submission to the EPA. Go to https://efc.ny.gov/needs to submit documentation and for resources to assist with submissions.