Jacobs Bill Would Decrease Sewer Overflows Into Area Waterways

Tax Credits to offset homeowner efforts to decrease storm water runoff

(Buffalo, NY) — State Senator Chris Jacobs announced today that he has proposed a law that would help keep area waterways clean by reducing residential sewer overflows.  The bill, S-6935, would incentivize homeowners to make improvements that would reduce the amount of their storm water runoff. 

“We know that if homeowners do such things as disconnect roof drain downspouts from area sewers, it can divert hundreds of gallons of rainwater from getting into our sewer systems,” said Jacobs.   “Homeowners making these types of improvements have the potential to make a huge impact on our storm water problems in Western New York,” the Senator added.

When local beaches are forced to close it typically occurs after heavy rains, when storm water overwhelms sewage treatment plants and untreated water is diverted into area creeks, rivers and lakes.  A major contributor of this surge of storm water comes from local homes, but with minor alterations, homeowners can significantly decrease the amount of their storm water runoff.

Jacobs’ legislation would provide a tax credit to the homeowner for 50% of cost of this “green infrastructure” work.  The maximum credit amount per homeowner would be capped at $3,000.

Earlier this year Western New York received international attention when a major sewer overflow discharge went into Niagara Falls during the height of the summer tourist season.  His 60th Senate District is also home to a number of beaches that were negatively impacted by closures attributed to sewage overflows.  The lawmaker said he believes the tax credit program might spur homeowners to take action that would he hopes would be repeated by friends and neighbors.   

“Green and environmentally friendly improvements made possible through the use of these tax credits have the potential to reduce overflows while also improving home values,” said Jacobs.  “It’s a classic win-win situation for our community.”