Governor George E. Pataki today awarded $8.5 million for seven municipal landfill closure projects across New York State. The landfills are being closed in accordance with stringent State requirements that will prevent pollution and protect public health and the environment.
"Over the last decade, New York has provided unprecedented funding for important environmental projects across the State that are helping protect our natural resources and improve the quality of life for our residents," Governor Pataki said. "We're proud that these new grants will allow local communities to properly close their old, inactive municipal landfills to prevent pollution, and ensure the protection of our environment for our children and future generations to come."
The landfill closure grants announced today provide between 50 and 90 percent of total eligible project costs, up to a maximum of $2 million per project. Municipalities with populations of less than 3,500 are eligible for up to 90 percent of total eligible project costs. To receive State assistance for landfill closure, municipalities must have a landfill closure plan approved by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and be in compliance with all applicable environmental laws and regulations.
DEC Acting Commissioner Denise M. Sheehan said, "Today, Governor Pataki makes another strong commitment to the protection of New Yorkers and their valued natural resources. With this funding, communities will be able to close landfills in accordance with our current high standards, preventing pollutant runoff or leachate from effecting public health or the environment."
Today's grants are provided through a combination of funding from the Clean Water/Clean Air Bond Act, the State Environmental Protection Fund (EPF), and other available environmental funds. Since 1995, more than $135 million has been provided to municipalities across New York State for more than 141 landfill closure projects. Approximately 1,781 acres of unlined landfill area have been capped, preventing an estimated 539 million gallons of polluted runoff or leachate from entering groundwater.
The Clean Water/Clean Air Bond Act, proposed by Governor Pataki and approved by voters in November 1996, authorized $1.75 billion for important environmental programs. It provided $175 million for solid waste projects, including $100 million that has been committed to municipal recycling and landfill closure projects.
The EPF supports a variety of important, ongoing environmental projects, including municipal waste reduction, recycling and landfill closure projects. Since 1995, approximately $116 million from the EPF has been invested for such projects across the State.
1The Town of Rotterdam was awarded $107,482 for the Town of Rotterdam Municipal Solid Waste Landfill, located on Rynex Corners Road. This grant will provide funding for an enhanced leachate collection system.