$2.5 Billion of State Funds to Help Clean Water Infrastructure

Money will be used to repair and replace old pipes and water mains

Mike Baggerman
April 17, 2017 - 12:22 pm

WBEN Photo/Mike Baggerman

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BUFFALO, N.Y. (WBEN) - Members of the Western New York State Legislative Delegation gathered on Monday morning to celebrate the $2.5 billion of state funds towards clean water infrastructure in the area. 

“Here in Western New York we enjoy some of the best fresh water resources and assets of the world,” State Senator Chris Jacobs said. “Moreover we are making tremendous strides in capitalizing on the tourism and recreational value of that water. Unfortunately, because of the age of our infrastructure, a report issued last year by the Environmental Advocates of New York revealed that the majority of sewer overflows that occur in New York state happen here in Erie County.”

The funding will help fix the infrastructure by repairing and replacing old pipes and water mains. Plus create preventative measures such as source water land acquisition to keep water from being polluted. Some of the pipes in the area are over 100 years old.

The $2.5 billion of funding includes the following:

  • $1 billion for the 2017 Water Infrastructure Improvement Act to help municipalities upgrade their drinking and wastewater infrastructure
  • $350 million for clean water infrastructure projects after 2021
  • $245 million for water quality improvement projects
  • $200 million for drinking and wastewater infrastructure improvements in New York City’s watershed
  • $150 million for inter-municipal water infrastructure grants
  • $130 million for drinking water remediation and mitigation of contaminated drinking water
  • $110 million for land acquisition projects for source water protection
  • $100 million for municipal water quality infrastructure programs
  • $75 million for upgrades and replacements of septic systems and cesspools
  • $50 million for green infrastructure projects
  • $50 million for concentrated animal feeding operations
  • $20 million for the replacement of lead drinking water service lines
  • $10 million for a water infrastructure emergency loan fund
  • $10 million for IT system upgrades related to mapping technologies

Assemblyman Sean Ryan explained how local municipalities can receive those funds

“Communities have to come together with plans to figure out what their needs are,” he said. “They’ll then apply for this money. It’s grants. Some of them require federal match, some don’t. It’s going to be a complex process.”

He further added that if the water infrastructure was left untreated, Western New York could face a similar scenario seen nationally.

“We want to do everything we can to make sure the people of New York State never have to go through what the people of Flint, Michigan went through,” he said. “Or just the other end of the lake in Ohio what they went through when their lake became so polluted that they couldn’t use their fresh-water intakes anymore. It’s important to make robust investments into replacing old pipes, old water mains, for our clean water systems but also our waste water systems.”

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