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Hochul: Nearly $300 million in state grants for local water infrastructure improvements


Fri, Nov 4th 2022 01:00 pm

$175 million awarded to environmental justice communities; funding awarded state in all 10 economic development regions

Gov. Kathy Hochul announced nearly $300 million is being awarded to communities through the Water Infrastructure Improvement Grant, Intermunicipal Grant, Green Innovation Grant, and Engineering Planning Grant programs to fund critical water infrastructure projects across New York.

Her team said, “The grants awarded by the New York State Environmental Facilities Corp. are part of the state's nation-leading commitment to modernize the state's aging water and sewer systems by providing the financial resources that municipalities need to undertake critical once-in-a-generation projects. These grants will support water infrastructure projects totaling more than $1 billion that safeguard drinking water from the risk of toxic chemicals, increase community resilience to flooding, regionalize water systems, support local economies, and are critical to protecting public health and the environment. The grants are projected to save local taxpayers an estimated $1 billion.”

Hochul said, "Grants are crucial to helping communities undertake environmental infrastructure projects that are vital to the health and wellbeing of New Yorkers, the resiliency of shoreline communities, and economic development that supports industry, businesses and homeowners. We are proud to support municipalities with a historic level of funding for water infrastructure improvements, and we'll continue our efforts to modernize our infrastructure and provide safe, reliable water systems for generations to come."

This announcement marks the second announcement of Water Infrastructure Improvement Grant (WIIA) awards this calendar year, bringing EFC's total state water infrastructure grant awards to nearly $900 million in 2022. WIIA and IMG grants totaling $600 million were announced in April.

Lists of awardees are available by program:

Water Infrastructure Improvement (WIIA) and Intermunicipal Grants (IMG): 73 projects awarded $279.3 million

Green Innovation Grant Program (GIGP): 8 projects awarded $15.8 million

Engineering Planning Grants (EPG): 70 projects awarded $3 million

Environmental Facilities Corp. President and CEO Maureen A. Coleman said, "EFC's grants are a hallmark of New York state's robust, nation-leading investment in the environment, which will help municipalities affordably invest in water infrastructure improvement projects. Not only do these grants help get shovels in the ground for 81 water quality projects across New York state, but the engineering planning grants will also help tee up 70 fiscally sound and well-designed projects.”

Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner and Environmental Facilities Corp. Board Chair Basil Seggos said, "Repairing and enhancing aging water infrastructure not only protects water quality, it improves habitats and strengthens the ability of communities to address climate impacts by adapting to severe storms and flooding. The investments made by Gov. Hochul in this year's budget and the substantial grant funding awarded today are ensuring these critical upgrades are implemented and will benefit public health and our environment for generations to come."

Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett said, "Access to clean, safe drinking water is an essential component of healthy communities.”

Water Infrastructure Improvement (WIIA) & Intermunicipal Grants

The state Environmental Facilities Corp. has awarded $279.3 million in WIIA and IMG grants that will support nearly $1 billion in total project costs.

View WIIA/IMG Awardees By Region | view Interactive Map

WIIA/IMG Award Highlights

More than half of WIIA/IMG funding this round has been awarded to environmental justice communities.

EFC is committed to awarding water quality funding to the communities that need it most. Grants totaling more than $158 million are awarded to 22 clean water projects and 14 drinking water projects located in environmental justice communities.

More than $115.5 million has been awarded to improve drinking water systems.

Municipalities across New York will receive grants for projects that include construction of new water mains, water tower upgrades, system extensions and processes to treat emerging contaminants.

Examples of drinking water projects that were awarded grants include:

√ Village of Tupper Lake in Franklin County (North Country) is awarded $4.8 million for water supply improvements, including treatment processes.

√ Village of Watkins Glen in Schuyler County (Southern Tier) is awarded $2 million for water system improvements to improve operation, including upgrades to the raw water intake system, filtration and controls at the water treatment plant, finished water storage, and replacement of aged water mains.

An additional $31.9 million is awarded to projects that include enhanced treatment systems for addressing emerging contaminants.

This additional pool of grant funding incentivizes drinking water projects that treat emerging contaminants above the state-determined maximum contaminant level (MCL). Emerging contaminants are chemicals, such as perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). These chemicals have been used in fabric for waterproofing, certain fire suppression foam used by professional firefighters, and nonstick cookware, among other applications. PFAS break down slowly in the environment and, in certain cases, have contaminated drinking water supplies leading to concerns about exposure and health risk. DOH is currently accepting public comments on newly proposed regulations that would set new drinking water standards for 23 emerging contaminants.

Six projects in Long Island have been awarded grants to construct treatment systems that treat emerging contaminants above the MCL.

Over $92.5 million is awarded for wastewater improvement projects that will improve water quality and reduce potential risks to public health and the environment.

Examples of these projects include:

√ Buffalo Sewer Authority in Erie County is awarded $18.6 million upgrade the primary treatment system at the Bird Island Wastewater Treatment Facility for the next project in its long-term control plan to improve water quality in the Niagara River.

√ Town of Richmondville in Schoharie County (Mohawk Valley) is awarded $2.7 million to establish sewer in an area that has failing septic systems and documented pollutants in surface water samples.

√ Town of Kendall in Orleans County (Finger Lakes) is awarded $1.7 million to construct a public sewer system to replace septic systems along Lake Ontario and send wastewater to be treated at an existing Monroe County facility.

Intermunicipal Grants are awarded to two projects for communities working together to improve water quality:

√ Wayne County Water and Sewer Authority (Finger Lakes) is awarded $30 million for the Western Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant project. A regionalized plant will serve the Village of Palmyra and Towns of Palmyra, Macedon, Marion and Walworth, and eliminate three existing plants.

√ Herkimer Industrial Development Agency (Mohawk Valley) is awarded $9.3 million to construct the Eastern Mohawk Valley Regional Water Transmission Main.

Green Innovation & Engineering Planning Grant Programs

EFC will award more than $18.8 million to projects through the Green Innovation Grant and the Engineering Planning Grant programs. The funding is part of Round XII of the Governor's Regional Economic Development Council initiative.

View GIGP Awards | View EPG Awards

GIGP/EPG Award Highlights

All $15.8 million of GIGP funding this round has been awarded to environmental justice communities for green stormwater infrastructure projects.

GIGP supports projects across the state that utilize green stormwater infrastructure design and green technologies. Competitive grants are awarded to projects that mitigate the effects of climate change through the implementation of green practices, including green stormwater infrastructure as well as energy efficiency and water efficiency.

Examples of awarded projects include:

√ Albany Water Board in Albany County (Capital District) is awarded $2.7 million to rehabilitate a basketball court with porous pavement, bioretention and stormwater trees in one of the most disadvantaged parts of the city. The project will help to reduced localized flooding and combined sewer overflows to the Hudson River.

√ New York City Department of Environmental Protection is awarded $3 million to transform multiple streets into green streets in Jamaica Queens. The city will retrofit the medians with bioretention and stormwater street trees to help reduce localized flooding and combined sewer overflows.

EPG will fund $3 million in engineering costs to help jumpstart planning for 70 clean water infrastructure projects. More than half of the EPGs have been awarded to environmental justice communities.

The planning grants are being awarded at an opportune time to help communities prepare to apply for federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding, much of which will flow through the State Revolving Fund programs administered by EFC. Planning grants help fund the development of an engineering report, which is required in the EFC financing application process. EPGs help municipalities advance fiscally sound and well-designed projects to construction.

Examples of awarded projects include:

√ Village of Depew in Erie County is awarded $100,000 to study options for mitigating inflow and infiltration, and sanitary sewer overflows in Sewershed No. 6.

√ Livingston County Water & Sewer Authority (Finger Lakes) is awarded $100,000 to plan collection system improvements that mitigate inflow and infiltration in the Conesus Lake area.

√ Town of Salina in Onondaga Community (Central New York) is awarded two grants totaling $60,000 to develop Mattydale and Lyncourt sanitary sewer inflow and infiltration studies.

Municipal Access to Funds

Grant funds may be disbursed to awardees once certain conditions are met, including the execution of a grant agreement and approval by the EFC board of directors.

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