In the News  Archive

Act now on infrastructure

Editorial – The Leader Herald
Nov 22, 2016

One need look no further than the recent sewage leaks from the city of Amsterdam into the Mohawk River to see the urgent need for water and sewer infrastructure upgrades in Fulton and Montgomery counties.

An alert issued by the State Department of Environmental Conservation Oct. 19 stated approximately 10 gallons per minute of untreated sewage was flowing into the North Chuctanunda Creek and then into the Mohawk from a sanitary sewer, and that wasn’t the first time state and local officials have issued similar warnings this year — they did it on July 26 and before that on July 13, when Amsterdam Wastewater Treatment Plant Operator Gene Hutchings indicated 517,000 gallons of partially treated sewage spilled into the river that morning due to an equipment failure at the Westside Pump Station.

This has to stop, but a solution will not be cheap.

A U.S. Environmental Protection Agency report in 2012 estimated New York state has the greatest need among all the states for investment in drinking and wastewater infrastructure nationwide, with more than $53 billion needed over the next 20 years.
Advocacy groups, such as the Environmental Advocates of New York, the Hudson Riverkeepers, the Adirondack Council and the New York League of Conservation Voters, recently called on Gov. Andrew Cuomo to increase New York state’s investment in water infrastructure to $800 million annually.

Jim Tedisco, state senator-elect for the 49th state Senate district, talked about a program he calls SWAP, the Safe Water Infrastructure Plan, at a Fulton County Center for Regional Growth event Thursday.

Tesdisco says SWAP is modeled after the Consolidated Local Street and Highway Improvement Program, known as CHIPs, and would provide annual funding to all municipalities in the state via a transparent formula to allow them to identify and swap out old, deteriorating pipes, water mains and gas lines to better maintain the state’s infrastructure.

President-elect Donald Trump has also talked about the need to boost infrastructure spending on the federal level.

We’re glad that state and federal officials and advocacy groups all seem to be on the same page as far the need for water and sewer spending, but we urge them forward into action on this issue.

Talk is cheap, we want to see real action and real government investment into this growing problem.

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