Ritchie: Bill To Help Communities Impacted By Flooding Passes Senate

Patty Ritchie

May 09, 2017

Senator Patty Ritchie is announcing a bill she cosponsors that would accelerate the availability of emergency funding for water infrastructure and help communities impacted by severe flooding along Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River has passed the Senate. 

Under Senate bill 5902, the 120-day waiting period for funds made available via the newly adopted Clean Water Infrastructure Act of 2017 would be amended and monies would be accessible to municipalities immediately. 

“I have seen firsthand the devastating effects that recent flooding has had on the communities I represent along Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River,” said Senator Ritchie, who last week, toured communities in Jefferson, St. Lawrence and Oswego Counties impacted by flooding. 

“It is critical that we move as quickly as possible to provide the increased resources communities need to respond to damage caused by rising waters, as well as protect public health and safety.”

Without this critical legislation, municipalities would have been required to wait until August 18, 2017 to access the funding to address water infrastructure emergencies that are hazardous to public health and the environment.

The 2017-18 State Budget created the Clean Water Infrastructure Act of 2017 and a new financial assistance program to address water infrastructure emergencies that are imminent hazards to public health, public welfare and the environment.

This bill—which passed the Senate unanimously—now heads to the Assembly for action. 

Residents who are affected by flooding and in need of assistance are encouraged to contact the state’s Flood Assistance Hotline at 866-244-3839.

In addition, property owners are encouraged to contact the below DEC locations for help in obtaining storm recovery permits available for shore protection and other actions that need to be taken to safeguard infrastructure and property along Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River.

NYS DEC Region 6
(Jefferson and St. Lawrence counties) 
Regional Permit Administrator
Dulles State Office Building 
317 Washington Street
Watertown, NY 13601-3787
Phone: 315-785-2245
Fax: 315-785-2242
Email: dep.r6@dec.ny.gov 

NYS DEC Region 7
(Cayuga and Oswego counties) 
Regional Permit Administrator 
615 Erie Blvd. West, Room 206
Syracuse, NY 13204-2400
Phone: 315-426-7444
Fax: 315-426-7425
Email: dep.r7@dec.ny.gov 

 

(Attn. photo editors: Senator Ritchie is pictured surveying flood damage on the St. Lawrence River in the above photo with Tim Kinch)