The state’s announcement on Monday that it will devote funding to the studies and implementation of blue-green algae toxin treatments to the town of Owasco and city of Auburn’s water filtration plants was “great news” to the Owasco Lake Watershed Management Council members.
In a release, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the state would provide $150,000 for the study of both treatment plants, and an additional $2 million for implementation of methods to get rid of the toxins, called microcystin. The funding announcement comes about four months after both plants had detectable levels of the toxins in their finished drinking water.
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the New York State Environmental Facilities Corporation Board of Directors approved $662.9 million in grants and interest-free and low-cost loans to support vital wastewater and drinking water infrastructure projects. This funding complements Governor Cuomo’s State of the State proposal to invest a record $2 billion in critical water infrastructure across New York with the Clean Water Infrastructure Act of 2017.
“This funding will help communities across New York replace and expand their water infrastructure, helping to lay the foundation for future growth and prosperity,” Governor Cuomo said. “These investments support the vitality of these regions and help create a stronger, healthier New York.”
Municipal demand for Environmental Facilities Corporation financial assistance is higher than ever, in part due to the renewed focus on water infrastructure issues and because of the enactment of the Water Infrastructure Improvement Act of 2015. In 2016, the Act was amended to double the available grant funds from $200 million to $400 million. Even with these increased funds, demand is outpacing supply.
Recognizing this demand, Governor Cuomo’s 2017-18 Executive Budget will invest an unprecedented $2 billion in clean water infrastructure and water quality protection.
The approved projects, receiving a combination of grants and loans, include:
- Town of Ballston (Saratoga County) – $11 million ($2.6 million NYS Water Grant and $8.4 in low- and interest-free loan) to finance costs associated with the planning, design and construction of a Wastewater Collection System including individual grinder pumps, to replace onsite septic systems along the shores of Ballston Lake and a new pump station to convey flow to Saratoga County interceptor sewer.
- City of Schenectady (Schenectady County) – $24 million ($5 million NYS Water Grant, a $15 million zero-interest loan, and $4 million from other sources) to finance costs associated with the planning, design and construction of the Sanitary Sewer Overflow Mitigation & Improvements Project.
Central New York
- Village of Hamilton (Madison County) – $13.5 million to finance costs associated with the planning, design and construction of a series of improvements to upgrade the existing Village of Hamilton Wastewater Treatment Plant.
- City of Oswego (Oswego County) – $5.9 million ($1.4 million NYS Water Grant, and a $4.5 million interest-free loan) to finance costs associated with the planning, design and construction of improvements to the City of Oswego’s West Side sanitary sewer system.
- City of Oswego (Oswego County) — $9.5 million ($2.2 million NYS Water Grant and a $7.3 million interest-free loan) to finance costs associated with the planning, design and construction of the City of Oswego’s West Side Sewer Separation project.
Western New York
- Buffalo Sewer Authority (Erie County) – $14.2 million to finance costs associated with the planning, design and construction of Combined Sewer. Overflow Abatement Projects.
- Village of Clayton (Jefferson County) – $6.2 million ($3 million NYS Water Grant, and a $3.2 million interest-free loan) to finance costs associated with the upgrade of the Village’s existing aging water system. These upgrades include, but are not limited to: pump and control replacements, filter replacements, recoating of the storage tank and replacement of distribution mains.
- Village of Gouverneur (St. Lawrence County) – $1.6 million to finance costs associated with the planning, design and construction of the Village of Gouverneur’s Dorwin Street Sanitary Sewer Connector and Combined Sewer Separation project.
- Village of Cornwall-on-Hudson (Orange County) – A $1.7 million low-interest loan to finance costs associated with increasing the Village’s well capacity to accommodate the shutdown of the Catskill Aqueduct, and to serve the future demands of the Village of Cornwall-on-Hudson.
- Town of Fallsburg (Sullivan County) – A $16.4 million interest-free loan to refinance the prior short-term loan, and $5 million to finance additional costs for collection system improvements, and to extend the financing maturity date.
- City of Kingston (Ulster County) – $3.4 million ($2 million NYS Water grant and a $1.4 million low-interest loan) to finance costs related to the installation of new water transmission mains, replacement valves for isolation and flow control, and the installation of structural lining at vulnerable locations. The project includes various locations in the Towns of Woodstock, Kingston, and Ulster, New York
- Village of Wappingers Falls (Dutchess County) – $7 million ($3 million NYS Water grant and a $4 million low-interest loan) to finance costs related to the replacement of existing water distribution mains, along with associated hydrants, valves and water service connections on select streets within the Village. Repair and replacement of roadway, sidewalk and curbing in the existing streets in the Village where sewer main and water main work is taking place; and construction of a new water storage tank with a volume of up to 1,000,000 gallons.
New York City
- New York City Municipal Water Finance Authority – $370 million to finance the costs associated with 13 projects
- New York City Municipal Water Finance Authority – $177.1 million low-interest loan to finance work associated with the design and construction of the Croton Filtration Plant, which is designed to have maximum capacity of 290 MGD.
- The Croton Water Supply is the oldest and smallest of the three systems (Croton, Catskill, and Delaware) that provide drinking water to New York City and upstate communities. The Croton System reservoirs provide a storage capacity of 86.6 billion gallons, with a safe yield of 240 million gallons per day, “or approximately 10 percent of the City’s average daily demand of 1.4 billion gallons per day.
- Village of Schoharie (Schoharie County) – $868,697 ($289,569 in Federal Emergency Management Agency funds, $9,407 in insurance money and a $569,721 low-interest loan) to finance costs associated with repairs, reconstruction and debris removal/cleanup at the Village of Schoharie’ s wastewater treatment plant and collection facilities
- Village of Schoharie (Schoharie County) — $522,048 ($410,132 in Federal Emergency Management Agency Funds, $40,112 in insurance money, and a $71,804 low-interest loan) to finance costs to reconstruct the Fox Creek pump station and repair of the Dugan Hill water supply transmission main. The project also includes new water meters throughout the Village.
Sabrina Ty, President & CEO of the Environmental Facilities Corporation said, “Under Governor Cuomo, New York has made an unprecedented commitment to municipal drinking water and wastewater infrastructure These projects not only protect the environment, they support jobs. The Clean Water Infrastructure Act of 2017, coupled with EFC’s ongoing assistance to New York State’s communities, will strengthen infrastructure and support municipalities that are undertaking vital water-quality protection projects at the lowest possible cost.”
DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said, “Governor Cuomo recognizes the link between New York’s aging water infrastructure and the economic vitality of our communities, particularly in upstate New York. In addition to the Environmental Facilities Corporation’s grants and loans announced today, the Governor’s historic investments in the 2017-18 executive budget will transform these challenges into opportunities for communities by creating good paying jobs for local residents.New York invests more to protect water quality and update water infrastructure than any other state in the nation. Through grants and innovative programs, Governor Cuomo is making it easier for localities to make critical upgrades that ensure their water systems are providing New Yorkers with safe water for drinking and recreation.”
DOH Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker said, “New York communities rely upon strong infrastructure for their clean drinking water and proper wastewater disposal. The Governor’s Clean Water Infrastructure Act of 2017 will expand upon today’s investment, while creating a national model for the protection of water. This funding represents Governor Cuomo’s continued commitment to the preservation of water supplies throughout the state, in support of a healthier New York.”
The Environmental Facilities Corporation invests over $800 million each year to fund water quality improvements through New York’s Clean Water State Revolving Fund and Drinking Water State Revolving Fund, the largest and most active revolving loan funds in the nation.