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Governor Cuomo Announces $45 Million in Water Quality Improvement Grants

Grants Will Help Fund Projects to Improve Water Quality, Reduce Polluted Runoff, and Restore Natural Habitats in NY.

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Albany, NY - August 2, 2013 - Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that $45 million in grants are available for Water Quality Improvement Projects (WQIPs) by municipalities, soil and water conservation districts and non-profit organizations. The WQIP program is a competitive, reimbursement grant program for projects that improve water quality, reduce polluted runoff, and restore habitat in New York’s bodies of water. Recipients can be reimbursed 75 percent to 85 percent of the project costs, depending on the type of project. Application deadline is November 8, 2013.

“Investing in clean water projects protects New York’s natural resources and environment while supporting the economy and health of our communities,” Governor Cuomo said. “The State is funding projects that will improve water quality statewide, from controlling polluted runoff and strengthening wastewater treatment facilities to restoring natural habitats and making communities more resilient against severe weather.”

Municipalities, Soil and Water Conservation Districts and not-for-profit corporations are eligible to apply for funding. Funding will be available for projects that focus on:

  • Municipal wastewater treatment
  • Polluted runoff abatement and control from non-farm sources
  • Aquatic habitat restoration

“This grant program provides needed funding to help communities restore local waterbodies,” DEC Commissioner Joe Martens said. “We encourage eligible applicants to review the grant criteria and to apply for funding. These grants decrease pollution in our waterways and improve critical habitat.”

The $45 million in grants will include funding funded primarily by the Environmental Protection Fund (EPF) and NY Works II for a variety of projects, including:

  • Approximately $18.4 million for projects to control polluted runoff from non-farm sources. Nonpoint source pollution comes from many sources and is difficult to control. It can occur when rainfall or snowmelt moves over and through the ground and picks up natural and human-made pollutants. The pollution is dumped into our waterways;
  • $4 million for projects that use natural infrastructure to help minimize damage from storms in support of Governor Cuomo’s efforts to build infrastructure resiliency statewide;
  • $10 million in funding for municipal wastewater treatment facilities to install equipment to disinfect their effluent, which is sewage that has been treated in a sewage treatment plant, for waters used for fishing, swimming and boating, and waters that have sensitive receptors nearby, such as bathing beaches, or the Great Lakes.
  • Approximately $8.8 million is available for wastewater treatment, aquatic habitat restoration or municipal separate storm sewer systems projects. A portion of this funding would be used to reduce phosphorous in waterways, which can cause: reductions in oxygen in waterbodies necessary for fish to breathe; algae that turn water bodies green and can be harmful to humans and other animals; and algae and algae by-products that degrade drinking water.

Application materials for Water Quality Improvement Projects are available for download on DEC’s website at Application materials are also available by calling (518) 402-8267. All project applications must be postmarked by November 8, 2013.