Albany, NY (November 4, 2012)
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that the state will release $22.8 million to New York City that could be used for repairs to wastewater treatment facilities damaged during Hurricane Sandy and other recovery efforts associated with the storm.
“The state continues to find ways to help our residents in the aftermath of this devastating storm,” Governor Cuomo said. “With the release of these funds, New York City will be better able to continue to repair damaged wastewater facilities and help address the threat to public health and the environment caused by Hurricane Sandy.”
The $22.8 million were released by the state from an escrow account, funded by New York City under the terms of enforcement agreements with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) for past violations at the City’s wastewater treatment facilities.
DEC Commissioner Joe Martens said, “New York City met the milestones of the agreements for its Newtown Creek facility and has committed unprecedented resources to green infrastructure investments. DEC is immediately releasing these funds to help the City rebuild its environmental infrastructure.”
NYC Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Carter Strickland said, “Thanks to the hard work and dedication of our staff, we have made major repairs to the damage Sandy caused at our wastewater treatment facilities and we are already treating wastewater at 13 of our 14 plants. “The release of millions of dollars from escrow will help us complete our work and get all of our systems back online as quickly as possible.”
Given the critical impacts on the City’s wastewater infrastructure as a result of Hurricane Sandy, and the City’s high rate of performance under the agreements, the state is acting to immediately release the escrowed funds to the City so that those funds can help expedite repair of extraordinary damage caused by the storm.
The City has a high rate of compliance with all the milestones set forth in the agreements, complying with secondary treatment at the Newtown Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant well ahead of schedule with construction set to be completed a year early. In addition, the City has committed to massive upgrades of its facilities and this year committed $2.4 billion toward a ground-breaking green infrastructure program to further reduce combined sewer overflow discharges.