May 8, 2017
Albany, NY

Governor Cuomo Announces $87 Million for Water Quality Improvement Projects Across the State

Governor Cuomo Announces $87 Million for Water Quality Improvement Projects Across the State

Grants to Help Protect Drinking Water Sources, Reduce Polluted Runoff, and Restore Habitats in New York State Waterbodies Deadline to Apply for Grants is July 28, 2017

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced $87 million in grants are available to municipalities and not-for-profit corporations for water quality improvement projects. The program provides grants for projects that improve water quality, protect drinking water sources, reduce polluted runoff, and restore habitats in New York’s waterbodies. The grants are administered by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and made available through Governor Cuomo's Regional Economic Development Council initiative.

"New York is leading with critical investments in water infrastructure that protect long-term health, sustainability, and economic viability of communities across the state,"Governor Cuomo said. "These grants will help ensure our communities have the resources necessary to protect our precious natural assets and help build a stronger, healthier and more prosperous Empire State for all."

Municipalities, soil and water conservation districts, and not-for-profit corporations are eligible to apply for the water quality improvement grants. Recipients can be reimbursed 40 to 85 percent of the project costs, depending on the type of project. Funding is available for:

  • Municipal wastewater treatment
  • Drinking water protection through land acquisition
  • Salt storage
  • Polluted runoff abatement and control from non-farm sources
  • Aquatic habitat restoration and
  • Municipal separate storm sewer systems

"Access to clean water is critical to the health and safety of our communities," DEC Commissioner Seggos said. "With Governor Cuomo’s leadership, millions of dollars are being invested to protect and restore invaluable water resources statewide. We encourage eligible communities to apply for funding."

Senator Tom O'Mara (R,C,I-Big Flats), Chair of the Senate Environmental Conservation Committee, said, "I'm pleased that the state continues to provide vital funding to help localities across the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes regions, and statewide, undertake critical water infrastructure and water quality improvement projects. We're hopeful that ongoing state assistance will prove successful in helping localities complete vital projects including sewer and pipeline repairs. We're also hopeful that it can represent a long-term model for how the state-local partnership can be strengthened for the good of local environments, local economies and local property taxpayers by helping municipalities meet critical infrastructure needs while remaining within the property tax cap."

Assemblyman Steve Englebright, Chair of Assembly Committee on Environmental Conservation said, “Water quality protection should be one of our top priorities and I am pleased that this round of Water Quality Improvement Program funding not only focuses on infrastructure like pipes, but also recognizes the importance of preventing contamination by funding natural infrastructure items like land acquisition projects.”

Primarily funded by the Clean Water Infrastructure Act of 2017 and Environmental Protection Fund, the grants will be awarded for a variety of projects, including:

  • Up to $60 million in funding for municipal wastewater treatment facilities. Priority projects include: installing disinfection equipment; upgrading municipal systems to correct combined sewer overflows and sanitary sewer overflows; removing phosphorous or nitrogen in discharges; and constructing wastewater systems in communities with inadequate septic systems.
  • Approximately $15 million in funding to protect sources of drinking water through land acquisition projects. Applicants can apply for funding to purchase land or conservation easements to protect surface drinking water supplies, protect groundwater drinking water supplies, or install in-waterbody practices to control nutrients.
  • Approximately $1 million for projects to reduce nitrogen in Long Island waters.
  • Up to $5 million in funding for projects to relocate a salt storage pile away from drinking water and/or construct structures to cover a salt storage pile.
  • Approximately $6.45 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, which are then dumped into our waterways.

More information about project eligibility and how to apply is available on DEC’s website at:

Pre-application workshops will be held statewide. The workshop schedule and additional information is available on the REDC website All those who would like to have the application process explained or have process-related questions answered are encouraged to attend.

Eligible applicants can apply for WQIP funding through the Consolidated Funding Application


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