West Hempstead Water District receives grant for improvements

Originally published in Long Island Herald

The West Hempstead Water District is among several municipalities that will receive state aid for infrastructure projects that aim to improve water quality. West Hempstead has received more than $924,000 from the state Environmental Facilities Corporation through the Water Infrastructure Improvement Act and the Intermunicipal Water Infrastructure Grant Program. The state’s grant is a part of the $416 million to municipalities. The awards include more than $120 million for 37 projects to address emerging contaminants on Long Island. These grants are supporting nearly $1.6 billion in project costs, contributing over 20,000 jobs to New York’s economy, which will save state localities more than $700 million.

State Assemblywoman Judy Griffin said that Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s announcement on state support of local water districts is a “huge victory” for all families. She also said that this investment will help West Hempstead and communities across Long Island combat emerging contaminants such as 1,4-dioxane by upgrading systems and utilizing new, innovative technologies.

“Access to clean, safe drinking water is a basic human right,” Griffin said in a statement. “As a member of the assembly’s Environmental Conservation Committee, I’ve worked hard to ensure every family has access to clean water. I look forward to seeing these projects completed and continuing the fight for legislation that ensures our water is safe to drink and our environment is protected for generations to come.”

"This substantial investment is exactly what is needed to address the issue of emerging contaminants, like 1,4 dioxane, in Long Island's water," said State Sen. Todd Kaminsky in a news release. "I am thankful to Governor Cuomo for continuing to make Long Island's water quality a priority."

To assist with the cost of installing systems to address emerging contaminants, grants for these projects will no longer be capped at $3 million, but will cover 60 percent of total capital project costs. Projects eligible for these grants include those, which combat emerging contaminants, such as PFOA, PFOS and 1,4-dioxane, with system upgrades and innovative technologies.

“By investing in improving our state’s water infrastructure, we are laying the foundation for regional growth and prosperity while also protecting our natural resources,” Cuomo said in a news release. “These investments in our communities will help ensure residents in every corner of the state have access to safe, clean drinking water, helping to build a stronger New York for all.”