State Budget Includes Record Investment in Clean Water

John A. DeFrancisco

April 18, 2017

The 2017-18 State Budget makes a record investment of $2.5 billion to ensure all New Yorkers have access to clean, safe drinking water. The State Senate is leading the charge to ensure that the state provides the resources necessary to address extensive water quality issues and infrastructure needs across the state.

The final budget includes:

  ·    $1 billion for a new Water Infrastructure Improvement Act of 2017 to fund municipal water infrastructure projects over the next five years;
  ·    Continued funding ($245 million) of the Water Quality Improvement Program grants;
  ·    $150 million for a new intermunicipal water infrastructure grant program to help fund projects that serve multiple municipalities and promote cost savings;
  ·    $100 million in new funding for municipal water quality projects that would not currently qualify for existing state grants;
  ·    $75 million for a new state rebate program to incentivize the replacement of failing septic systems and cesspools;
  ·    $20 million for the replacement of lead pipes, with preferences given to communities with a high percentage of elevated childhood lead blood levels;
  ·    $100 million over five years for the state Superfund program; 
  ·    $275 million in continued funding for Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Funds;
  ·    $10 million for a new emergency infrastructure loan program to repair breaches of infrastructure that causes an imminent threat to the public health or the environment; and
  ·    Funding for new measures to control point-source pollution.

In Cayuga County, the FY 2018 Budget invests $2 million to support the design, engineering, and construction of upgrades to the drinking water treatment systems in the City of Auburn and Town of Owasco. Both systems draw water from Owasco Lake, which has recently been impaired by toxins. Together, these two public systems serve nearly 50,000 people in Cayuga County.