In the News  Archive

Environmental groups urge NY to invest in water, sewer

Malone Telegram
December 9, 2015

ALBANY –– Aging drinking water and sewer systems across the state are in need of huge investments, and environmental groups are calling on leaders in Albany to dip into the sizeable surplus it has built up thanks to settlements with financial companies.

Environmental Advocates of New York, the Adirondack Council and several other environmental groups launched a campaign Tuesday to urge state leaders to devote at least $800 million next year toward the cost of repairing and upgrading the state’s water infrastructure.

Estimates are that New York will need to spend nearly $80 billion over the next 20 years to repair, maintain and upgrade its drinking water and sewer systems. Many cities and counties now have systems that rely on century-old pipes, and local governments are dealing with a growing number of water main breaks and other costly problems as the systems begin to fail.

“We are living in the 21st century with early 20th-century water infrastructure,” said Liz Moran, water and natural resources associate at Environmental Advocates of New York.

The state has received billions of dollars in recent years from legal settlements with banks and other financial institutions. Some $2 billion of the surplus remains uncommitted, and Moran and the other environmental advocates say the state could use a portion of that money as an investment in infrastructure.

Lawmakers will begin work on the state’s new budget when they convene in Albany next month.

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