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$19 million in water quality grant funding available for infrastructure improvements

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Wed, Dec 23rd 2020 05:45 pm

$17 million is available to support green stormwater infrastructure, water efficiency, energy efficiency projects across state
$2 million is also available to help municipalities pay for initial planning for wastewater infrastructure projects

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced $19 million in federal grant funding is available to municipalities through the consolidated funding application for infrastructure projects that protect or improve water quality. This funding is made available through two programs: the Green Innovation Grant Program and Engineering Planning Grant Program. Funding through the Green Innovation Grant Program will support projects aimed at improving water quality and mitigating the effects of climate change through the implementation of green stormwater infrastructure, as well as energy and water efficiency efforts. The Engineering Planning Grant Program funding will help municipalities pay for the initial planning of water quality projects.

"Clean water and strong infrastructure are important backbones of any thriving community, and New York has worked hard to ensure localities have the resources they need to strengthen and prepare their water systems for the future," Cuomo said. "With this funding in hand, our local partners will be able to pursue projects, which not only ensure communities have access to clean water, but utilize cutting-edge green technologies to complete them and improve water management overall."

The Environmental Facilities Corp. and New York State Department of Environmental Conservation will evaluate and score all projects for which applications are received based on several factors, including level of water quality protection or enhancement, financial need, and readiness of the community to proceed expeditiously with the project. Applications for both the Green Innovation Grant Program (GIGP) and the Engineering Planning Grant Program (EPG) funding must be submitted through the consolidated funding application website by 4 p.m. Feb. 12, 2021.

EFC will host a webinar to present the GIGP and EPG programs at 11 a.m. Jan. 13. A recording of the webinar will be available on EFC's website, www.efc.ny.gov. The webinar will provide an overview of the GIGP and EPG programs, as well as guidance on how to apply for grant funds. There will also be an opportunity to ask questions. One may register for the webinar on EFC's website, www.efc.ny.gov.

To date, more than $200 million in GIGP and EPG grant funding has been made available to address clean water challenges in New York communities. The grant funding made available here builds upon the more than $3.5 billion in funding Cuomo has dedicated to clean water initiatives.

Maureen Coleman, acting president and CEO of the Environmental Facilities Corp., said, "Under Gov. Cuomo's leadership, the state continues to provide unprecedented support to communities to address clean water challenges. EFC is excited to be able to provide this funding to support innovative green projects across New York. These projects will protect water quality, while also mitigating impacts of climate change, the effects of which are often disproportionally borne by disadvantaged communities."

DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos, chairman of the Environmental Facilities Corp., said, "Access to clean water is critical to the health, safety and economic well-being of communities across the state. Under Gov. Cuomo's leadership, New York continues to invest millions of dollars to protect and restore water resources statewide while DEC and our state agency partners continue our work to identify and address threats both new and known before they enter our waters."

The governor's commitment to water quality includes $3.5 billion for water quality protection across New York through the Clean Water Infrastructure Act and subsequent budgets, $350 million awarded through the Water Infrastructure Improvement Act, and $60 million in the Intermunicipal Water Infrastructure Grants Program, among other investments for projects across the state. In addition, this year New York adopted a first-in-the-nation drinking water standard for emerging contaminant 1,4-dioxane that set the maximum contaminant level of 1 part per billion for 1,4-dioxane. The governor also announced maximum contaminant levels for emerging contaminants PFOA and PFOS in New York's drinking water, which are among the lowest in the U.S. for PFOA and PFOS at 10 parts per trillion.

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