Governor Cuomo Announces $39.5 Million for Water Quality Improvement Projects Across the State

Grants will help fund projects to reduce pollution runoff, improve resiliency and restore natural habitats.

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Albany, NY - October 28, 2014 - Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced $39.5 million in grants that provide funding for 134 local and regional projects across New York State. The projects are aimed to improve water quality, reduce polluted runoff and restore water bodies and aquatic habitats in each region of the state.

“Improving and protecting the state’s abundant water resources is vital to the quality of life for all New Yorkers,” Governor Cuomo said. “As we approach the two-year anniversary of Superstorm Sandy, we are reminded of far too many recent natural disasters that have caused tragedy and loss in communities across New York. This funding will provide the assistance communities need to increase resiliency against storms, implement effective pollution control projects and better protect critical natural resources for years to come."

A total of 134 grants are being awarded through the State’s Water Quality Improvement Program, a competitive grant program funded primarily by the Environmental Protection Fund and NY Works. The full list of projects receiving funding can be found HERE.

“Pollution can have devastating effects on our environment, including damaging critical habitats that provide natural defenses against storm surges and sea level rise,” Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens said. “This latest round of Water Quality Improvement Program grants is another example of Governor Cuomo’s commitment to building productive partnerships with local communities to better protect and restore our environment.”

Regional grant totals are:

  • Western New York: $4.94 million
  • Finger Lakes: $3.85 million
  • Central New York: $7.26 million
  • North Country: $10.37 million
  • Capital Region: $2.10 million
  • Hudson Valley: $4.16 million
  • New York City: $500,000
  • Long Island: $6.34 million

The grants awarded today provide assistance for a variety of projects, including:

  • $23 million for projects to control polluted runoff from non-farm sources. Nonpoint source pollution comes from many sources and can occur when rainfall or snowmelt travels over and through the ground and picks up natural and human-made pollutants. Funding will support projects such as stream stabilization and flood control, and includes $4 million for projects that utilize natural infrastructure, such as wetland construction and removal of floodplain berms, to help minimize damage from storms, a key goal of the Governor’s efforts to build and strengthen  resiliency statewide.
  • $7.7 million in NY Works II funding for municipal wastewater treatment facilities to install equipment to disinfect effluent, or treated sewage. This funding will help to protect the quality of waters used for fishing, swimming and boating, as well as waters that have sensitive receptors nearby, such as bathing beaches or the Great Lakes.
  • $2.2 million for wastewater treatment facilities in the Chesapeake Bay and Chautauqua Lake watersheds to install equipment to remove or reduce nutrients in the facility’s effluent, which can impair water quality.

Projects eligible under the Water Quality Improvement Program include: municipal wastewater treatment; municipal separate storm sewer systems; polluted runoff abatement and control from non-farm sources; and aquatic habitat restoration. Award recipients may be reimbursed for up to 85 percent of the total project costs cost.

Photo by Ryan Smart via Free Images