Next Round of the Water Infrastructure Improvement and Intermunicipal Grant Programs Bolstered by the First Spending of the Environmental Bond Act
Applications to Go Live on May 3
Governor Kathy Hochul today announced $425 million will be made available through the next round of the State's Water Infrastructure Improvement and Intermunicipal Grant programs, bolstered by the first spending under the Clean Water, Clean Air, and Green Jobs Environmental Bond Act of 2022. This infusion of public funds will continue to help make water infrastructure investments more affordable for local governments, strengthen resiliency, combat climate change and create jobs in the manufacturing, engineering, construction, plant operations, and related industry sectors.
"Thanks to the voter-approved Environmental Bond Act, this enhanced round of grant funding will help transform communities across New York State and benefit generations of New Yorkers," Governor Hochul said. "One of the main components of the Bond Act is providing significant funding for water infrastructure, and this funding will help communities build stronger and smarter to ensure safe drinking water and wastewater facilities can withstand the impacts of climate change."
New Yorkers overwhelmingly approved the $4.2 billion Environmental Bond Act in November 2022. State agencies, local governments, and partners will be able to access funding to protect water quality, help communities adapt to climate change, improve resiliency, and create green jobs. Bond Act funding will support new and expanded projects across the state to safeguard drinking water sources, reduce pollution, and protect communities and natural resources from climate change.
The Environmental Facilities Corporation (EFC) administers the Water Infrastructure Improvement (WIIA) and Intermunicipal Grant (IMG) programs working closely with the Departments of Health (DOH) and Environmental Conservation (DEC). WIIA and IMG were established in 2015 and 2017, respectively, and have been funded by the Clean Water Infrastructure Act (CWIA). The funding announced today includes $225 million from the governor's historic commitment to water quality infrastructure, and $200 million from the Environmental Bond Act, which specifically named WIIA and IMG programs as tools to help leverage water quality improvement and resilient infrastructure funding.
An inter-agency working group comprised of multiple state agencies is currently identifying needs for environmental funding across the state and developing program logistics, including additional eligibility guidelines for how projects will be selected and delivered, through a transparent and collaborative process. EFC on March 15 released draft WIIA/IMG Bond Act eligibility guidelines for public comment as part of these efforts.
The infusion of Environmental Bond Act funding will help expand the WIIA/IMG grant programs' legacy of modernizing aging systems and protecting drinking water. This round will continue to prioritize grant awards for drinking water projects that address emerging contaminants as well as critical wastewater projects. Disadvantaged Communities will receive at least 35 percent of the benefits of the combined WIIA/IMG and Environmental Bond Act funding.
Applications and full eligibility criteria will become available at efc.ny.gov on May 3.
Environmental Facilities Corporation President & CEO Maureen A. Coleman said, "EFC is excited to help make the first dollars from the Environmental Bond Act available through our popular grant programs. EFC thanks Governor Hochul for her proactive commitment to provide funding solutions to our municipal partners to help them confront clean water issues head-on and get critical projects underway."
Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner and EFC Board Chair Basil Seggos said, "With record funding now available through the Environmental Bond Act and sustained investments in state programs, municipalities have more opportunities to implement necessary projects that protect water quality. DEC continues to work with Governor Hochul, EFC, and our local partners to invest clean water resources in our communities and advance environmental, public health, and economic benefits."
Acting State Health Commissioner Dr. James McDonald said, "Everyone deserves safe drinking water. It is vital to life and essential for creating and maintaining healthy communities. These strategic investments in clean water infrastructure will help keep projects affordable for communities across the state, laying the foundation for building a stronger, healthier New York. I thank Governor Hochul for her continued commitment to the health and well-being of all New Yorkers, now and for years to come."
Secretary of State Robert J. Rodriguez, "New York State's proactive investments in clean water infrastructure are key to protecting clean drinking water, public health, and environmental protection but also reflect the State's commitment to creating healthy, sustainable and resilient communities. The infusion of $425 million in public funds supported by the Clean Water, Clean Air, and Green Jobs Environmental Bond Act of 2022 is making a difference in the lives of New Yorkers and in local governments efforts to strengthen their climate change resiliency."
Executive Director of Citizens Campaign for the Environment Adrienne Esposito, said, "The overwhelming public support for the environmental bond act in November was a powerful, clear message that upgrading our wastewater and drinking water infrastructure is urgently needed. The public has spoken and now Governor Hochul and our elected leaders are delivering on the bond act promises! The critical need for clean water upgrades is widespread throughout New York communities, vastly supported by the public and provides essential public health benefits. This is exciting and welcomed news on Earth Week!"
New York State Association of Counties Executive Director Stephen J. Acquario said, "Since its inception, the Water Infrastructure Improvement Act has been an essential source of funding for drinking water and wastewater infrastructure projects across New York State. This new round of grant funding will support local governments' ongoing efforts to repair and replace aging pipes, pumps, and other critical infrastructure, and install new treatment technologies that will help ensure our communities have access to clean and safe water for generations to come. We commend Governor Hochul for prioritizing investments in our water infrastructure and putting funds from the historic Clean Water, Clean Air, and Green Jobs Environmental Bond Act to good use for the people of New York."
New York's Commitment to Water Quality
New York continues to increase its investments in clean water infrastructure. In the 2023 State of the State and her 2023-24 Executive Budget proposal, Governor Hochul proposed an additional $500 million in clean water funding, bringing New York's total clean water infrastructure investment to $5 billion since 2017. To leverage these investments and ensure ongoing coordination with local governments, the Governor proposed the creation of Community Assistance Teams to provide proactive outreach to small, rural, and disadvantaged communities to help them access financial assistance to address their clean water infrastructure needs. The initiative was recently launched and outreach meetings are underway. Any community that needs help with their water infrastructure needs is encouraged to contact EFC at efc.ny.gov/CAT.
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