In the News  Archive

Support for clean water grows

March 9, 2015
Hamilton County Express

By Pete Klein

ALBANY -- Might the state have some money to insure New Yorkers have clean drinking water?

A new analysis released last week by a coalition of organizations shows that across New York state, communities have an immediate documented need for $12.7 billion in clean water funding -- impacting every single county across the state. The Senate and Assembly are now preparing their budget proposals and groups are urging them both to include $800 million or more dedicated for new clean water infrastructure grants.

In a year when a harsh winter has exposed the dangers of outdated infrastructure, the state has the chance to make a commonsense investment thanks to the plus $5 billion in bank settlement resources.

Comptroller Tom DiNapoli has identified a gap in annual state spending of $800 million for wastewater and $300 million for drinking water, while the Department of Environmental Conservation in 2008 estimated the 20-year need for clean water and sewage infrastructure spending at $36 billion.

Clean water advocates, two dozen state senators, and local officials are all pushing for $800 million in new water infrastructure spending in the next state budget. To highlight the acute need, advocates released an analysis of applications to the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (administered by the Environmental Facilities Corporation) by region and county.

Of the $12.7 billion in aid requested, the EFC reportedly plans to provide $757 million, primarily in zero and low-interest loans.

Two examples of active projects awaiting Drinking Water State Revolving Funds from EFC in Hamilton County include the Town of Indian Lake, needing $1.55 million for new drilled wells; and the Village of Speculator needing $2,128,000 for pipes connecting the Caulkins Trailers complex off Marion Avenue to the sewer collection system.

William C. Janeway, executive director of the Adirondack Council, said, "The Adirondack Council appreciates that the Governor, Senate and Assembly are all talking about how New York funds clean water infrastructure grants, and protects public health and the environment, while supporting smart community focused economic development."

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