State to Fund $30M for Rye Lake Filtration Plant, One of 156 Local Water Infrastructure Projects
ALBANY—In what will be the first funding awarded through the $4.2-billion “Clean Water, Clean Air, and Green Jobs Environmental Bond Act of 2022,” New York State announced recently a total of $479 million in grants for critical water infrastructure projects.
The Bond Act financing deals include a commitment of $30 million in funding to the Westchester Joint Water Works for the construction of the Rye Lake Water Filtration Plant in Central Westchester. The new treatment plant will provide residents with high quality drinking water.
The funding announced by the state is projected to save local ratepayers an estimated $1.3 billion and create 24,000 jobs across the state. The grants are awarded by the New York State Environmental Facilities Corporation in coordination with the Departments of Health and Environmental Conservation, and are part of the state’s nation-leading commitment to modernize aging water and sewer systems.
The grants include nearly $450 million awarded through the state’s Water Infrastructure Improvement (WIIA) and Intermunicipal Grant (IMG) programs. Funding for this round is made possible with $249 million from the governor’s commitment to water quality infrastructure, and $200 million from the Environmental Bond Act. The WIIA and IMG programs were named as tools in the voter-approved Bond Act to help leverage funding for water quality and resilient infrastructure improvements.
An additional $30 million through the Septic System Replacement Program to target water quality and protection of public health is available via the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and EFC to targeted counties. These grants support home and small business owners with funding for more environmentally effective systems.
One example, in Suffolk County, $20 million from the septic program will help address the hundreds of thousands of substandard or failing septic systems and cesspools that significantly impair water quality. It builds upon more than $40 million in grants to Suffolk County since the program began. An additional $17 million in WIIA and Bond Act grants are being awarded to Suffolk County communities and public authorities for projects that install treatment equipment that will protect drinking water from emerging contaminants and other system improvements.
Environmental Facilities Corporation President & CEO Maureen A. Coleman said, “New York State is bringing new investment, modern infrastructure, and good-paying jobs to communities, with over half the funding announced today benefitting disadvantaged communities and environmental justice areas. One of the main components of the Bond Act is providing significant funding for water infrastructure. Pairing state investments with Bond Act funding for this enhanced round of grants will help ensure taps are delivering safe drinking water to New Yorkers and that wastewater facilities continue to protect the environment and can withstand the impacts of climate change.”
EFC administers the WIIA and IMG programs working closely with DOH and DEC. EFC collected public comment on draft eligibility criteria starting in March and solicited applications for eligible projects this summer, including outreach during the statewide Bond Act listening sessions.
Disadvantaged communities will benefit from 62% of Bond Act funding, amounting to $123 million, surpassing the state goal of 40%.
Additionally, EFC awarded $111 million in WIIA/IMG funds to projects that will advance environmental justice, underscoring the state’s commitment to awarding grant funding to communities that need it most.
New York State is awarding more than $214 million through WIIA and Environmental Bond Act funding to improve drinking water systems.
In addition to the Westchester Joint Water Works funding, another significant project award in the Hudson Valley/New York City regions was the New York City Municipal Water Finance Authority being awarded $6 million in Bond Act funding for the Bronx River Combined Sewer Overflow Long Term Control Plan. The project will help strengthen the sewer system’s ability to treat flow during wet weather events and improve water quality in the Bronx River.