August 1, 2016
Albany, NY

Governor Cuomo Directs Department of Environmental Conservation and Environmental Facilities Corporation to Assist Amsterdam in Fixing Sewage Leak

TOP Governor Cuomo Directs Department of...

State Officials Receive Updates from City of Amsterdam on its Response and Efforts to Fix Failing Infrastructure

State to Provide Technical Assistance and Identify Additional Support Needed 

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Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today directed state officials to immediately meet with the City of Amsterdam and assess options for fixing a recent sewage infrastructure failure on the North Chuctanunda Creek. State Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos has already conducted an on-site review of the city's interim repairs to stem the leak and now the Department and the Environmental Facilities Corporation will provide technical assistance while permanent repairs are completed. Additionally, the state will identify potential funding options such the Water Infrastructure Improvement Act of 2015, Environmental Facility Corporation subsidized loans, Engineering Planning Grants and Water Quality Improvement Program grants.

"The Amsterdam leak is one more example of how aging infrastructure can impact the environment and put the health and safety of New Yorkers at risk," Governor Cuomo said. "New York State is helping Amsterdam to not only resolve the current situation, but also helping to address critical water infrastructure needs moving forward."

The city of Amsterdam has taken action to locate the sewer break since it was first discovered on the morning of July 25, when it was causing an estimated 50 gallons of untreated sewage to enter the creek every minute, by installing a pumping system to bypass the damaged section of pipe and stem the leak. The city also contracted with a local company to provide assistance to locate and access the sewer break to make repairs and stop the discharge. That work began last Thursday.

Amsterdam has had several overflow events over the past several months and has failed to adequately report these overflows under the Sewage Pollution Right to Know Act. As a result of these incidents, the Department of Environmental Conservation has issued a Notice of Violation to the city directing them to comply with the act. The Department of Environmental Conservation is also currently in discussions with Amsterdam to make further improvements on their aging wastewater infrastructure, including the updating of a comprehensive existing compliance order. 

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