Funding Will Help Identify Wastewater Infrastructure Needs in 10 New York Communities
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced grants totaling $386,837 has been awarded to help municipalities increase the reporting of Combined Sewer Overflows under the Sewage Pollution Right to Know law. This funding will help improve detection and monitoring of Combined Sewer Overflows in 10 communities across the state.
"This funding will help these communities protect the health and safety of their residents, as well as the rivers, lakes and other bodies of water within their borders," Governor Cuomo said. "With the addition of new equipment and resources, these towns, cities and villages will have what is needed to keep people informed and help preserve New York’s natural resources for generations to come."
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos said, "Governor Cuomo's continued support of the state's Sewage Pollution Right to Know law bolsters our continued efforts to provide transparency while protecting the public from potentially polluted waters. New Yorkers have a right to make informed decisions before fishing, swimming, and recreating in affected waterways."
The CSO grants provide municipalities the resources needed to install equipment and develop reporting tools to better inform the public. These grants focus on smaller communities that typically lack funding to install such equipment. Prior to receiving the state grants, some of the winning municipalities lacked detection and monitoring equipment to provide local residents with useful and timely information.
Grants were awarded to the following municipalities:
- City of Lockport: $50,000 to install CSO detection on all active, permitted CSOs throughout the city;
- City of Auburn: $50,000 to install programmable logic controllers at each CSO to replace outdated equipment;
- City of Amsterdam: $45,540 to install a multi-sensor monitoring unit, dual wave area-velocity flow sensor, alarm float switch, and tilt switch at each pump station location;
- Village of Catskill: $50,000 to install an area-velocity flow meter at all CSO locations in the village;
- Town of Ticonderoga: $41,070 to install new ultrasonic meter and monitoring of existing ultrasonic meter addressing all CSOs in the town;
- City of Newburgh: $33,300 to upgrade the software service for each previously installed sensor to provide flow monitoring capabilities;
- Village of Boonville: $11,127 to replace existing instrumentation with an accurate, dependable wastewater overflow monitoring and alarm system at the wastewater treatment facility;
- City of Albany: $50,000 to install flow meters at four locations, including the Rensselaer Overflow (Big C 016);
- County of Chemung: $22,500 to install electronic motion detection devices, which record the start and stop time of an overflow event at six CSOs in the county; and
- City of Plattsburgh: $33,300 to install remote monitoring through cellular service, flow monitoring with multiple options for flow sensors to meet specific CSO configurations, and a long- lasting battery.
DEC recently announced new regulations for the Sewage Pollution Right to Know Law, which requires municipalities to notify the public in the event of a discharge from their CSO system. CSO discharges may contain pollutants harmful to humans and have the potential to negatively impact the quality of the receiving waterbody. Notifications of CSO discharges inform local residents when waterbodies used for recreation may be impacted. DEC is requiring CSO communities to use the NY-Alert notification system to provide these notifications to the public.
Senator and Chairman of the Senate Environmental Conservation Committee Tom O'Mara said, "I appreciate and commend DEC's cooperation and efforts to develop this notification system, and administer this first-in-the-state grant program to assist municipalities. Several communities in my district are in great need of assistance with wastewater infrastructure, and lack detection and monitoring equipment to provide citizens with useful information about a possible overflow. The award of these funds to Chemung County is a great start to help provide municipalities with the proper tools to notify residents in a timely manner should an event occur."
Riverkeeper President Paul Gallay said, "The important investments that Governor Cuomo announced today will help swimmers, boaters and anglers avoid water that could make them sick. Our goal is always to eliminate pollution, and public awareness about sewage overflows is an important step in that direction."
Citizens Campaign for the Environment Executive Director Adrienne Esposito said, "This is terrific news. It is essential that the public is aware of sewage spills in our waterways so we can avoid fishing, swimming, kayaking and other recreational activities that may result in harmful exposure. These funds advance the critical goal of keeping the public informed of potential health threats and an informed public is a safer public. We are thrilled that Governor Cuomo has provided these important grants and look forward to the ongoing work of the DEC to protect New York’s waters."
To learn more about the Sewage Pollution Right to Know Law, regulations, and notification requirements, visit the DEC website at: www.dec.ny.gov/chemical/90315.html.
To learn more about CSOs, visit the DEC website at: www.dec.ny.gov/chemical/48595.html