ALBANY — Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s $2.5 billion proposal to fix drinking water, sewer and pollution problems on Long Island and statewide was one of the biggest items in his budget address last week, but advocates say they hope the problems it aims to fix aren't even bigger.
“We need to invest in clean, safe drinking water,” Cuomo said Tuesday in his budget address. “We have a $2.5 billion investment to replace infrastructure all across the state.”
Water officials on the front lines of the growing concern credit Cuomo for focusing on the problem after decades in which, they said, the state paid too little attention and appropriated too little funding. In 2018, for example, Cuomo led the effort to create the first $2.5 billion program under the Clean Water Infrastructure Act, which is already devoted to projects ranging from contaminated wells on Long Island to century-old pipes in some upstate cities.
“I think the governor is absolutely right that the aquifers are in danger, so I appreciate aggressive action in that area,” said Sen. Todd Kaminsky (D-Long Beach), chairman of the Senate Environmental Conservation Committee.
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