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Eligibility expanded for water infrastructure grants with $175 million now available in round 2


Fri, Apr 15th 2016 08:10 pm

Application deadline extended with an additional $200 million over two years for critical drinking water and wastewater infrastructure projects included in final budget

The Environmental Facilities Corp. today announced that, with the enacted state budget providing an additional $100 million this year in grants, it can now broaden eligibility for wastewater projects and provide a total of $175 million in grants through round two of the NYS Water Grants program. In addition, the maximum grant amount for drinking water projects has been increased from $2 million to $3 million, or 60 percent of eligible projects costs, whichever is less. To accommodate this expansion, the round two application deadline has been extended from April 15 to June 20.

"Under Gov. Cuomo's leadership, New York state is now investing an additional $350 million in grants over the next two years to assist communities in maintaining and improving their drinking water and wastewater infrastructure" said Sabrina M. Ty, EFC president and CEO. "This significant increase provided to the grant program with the support of the Legislature gives EFC the opportunity to assist more municipalities than ever before, with the added benefit of job creation and economic development."

The Water Infrastructure Improvement Act of 2015, established as part of the 2015-16 New York state budget, originally provided $200 million in grants over three years to municipalities for critical drinking water and wastewater system improvements. This year's budget increased funding support for the Act by $200 million for a total of $400 million.

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Acting Commissioner and EFC Board Chairman Basil Seggos said: "Investing in clean water infrastructure is vital to improving water quality and the economy. I thank Gov. Cuomo and the State Legislature for building a better New York by increasing this critically important funding source that will help communities upgrade aging infrastructure and restore water resources."

New York State Department of Health Commissioner Howard Zucker said: "Gov. Cuomo's commitment to ensuring water quality represents a major investment in the safety and well-being of our communities. Clean water remains a cornerstone of good health, and these additional funds will help fulfill our goal to keep all New Yorkers healthy."

Eligibility and Grant Amounts

All communities' wastewater projects and drinking water projects are eligible for a NYS Water Grant. For wastewater projects, the maximum grant award is 25 percent of eligible project costs, or $5 million, whichever is less. The maximum grant award for drinking water projects is 60 percent of eligible project costs, or $3 million, whichever is less.

Consistent with the legislation, among other factors, EFC will consider and give preference to municipalities and projects that result in the greatest water quality improvement or greatest reduction in serious risk to public health.

EFC will be accepting applications from local governments for the $175 million currently available until 5 p.m., June 20. EFC will be expediting evaluation of the applications to ensure that grants may be awarded shortly thereafter. Applications are available at www.efc.ny.gov/NYSWaterGrants.

Municipalities with questions are encouraged to email [email protected] or call EFC at 518-402-6924.

EFC will host an informational webinar at 11 a.m. May 11. Register online at: www.efc.ny.gov/NYSWaterGrants.

In addition to the grants announced, EFC and DOH continue to offer either 0-percent or low-interest financing to communities to further reduce the cost of infrastructure projects. More information on these loans is available at: www.efc.ny.gov/CWSRF (for wastewater projects) and www.efc.ny.gov/DWSRF (for drinking water projects).

New York leads the nation with the largest annual investment in water quality infrastructure of any state. Since 2011, New York has financed more than $9 billion in critical water and wastewater infrastructure investments - the largest five-year investment since the inception of the revolving loan funds in 1987. The state revolving loan funds are administered by EFC, on behalf of DEC, and jointly with DOH.

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