Infrastructure
Environment
January 12, 2023
Albany, NY

Governor Hochul Announces the Start of Innovative Microtunneling for Newburgh Sewer Project

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Governor Hochul Announces the Start of Innovative Microtunneling for Newburgh Sewer Project
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First Clean Water Infrastructure Project Funded by the Federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Law In New York State

$27 Million in Total State and Federal Investments Will Improve Water Quality and Storm Resiliency by Upgrading Wastewater Infrastructure

Microtunneling for Underground Sewer Pipeline Will Reduce Potential Disruption for Community Residents and Expedite Construction

Governor Kathy Hochul today announced the start of innovative microtunneling in the City of Newburgh as part of ongoing wastewater and stormwater infrastructure upgrades that are crucial to protecting the water quality of the Hudson River and increasing storm resiliency. The ongoing sewer project is the first clean water infrastructure construction project in New York State to be funded in part by the federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. This project received more than $6.1 million in federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funds in November. New York State is also contributing more than $21 million in state grants and interest-free financing to support the city's construction of new, larger sewer pipes and other crucial upgrades to strengthen the city's ability to withstand high water events and reduce pollution in the Hudson River.

"Combined with our state's significant clean water investments, the unprecedented funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law provides a crucial opportunity to make significant environmental improvements that will protect public health across the state for generations to come," Governor Hochul said. "These wastewater and stormwater upgrades are vital to protecting the environment and enhancing quality of life in Newburgh, and my administration will continue to work hard to get funding out the door efficiently and equitably to help communities get shovels in the ground for critical projects."

Microtunneling is part of the ongoing construction to implement Newburgh's long-term control plan in partnership with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to upgrade the city's combined sewer and stormwater system. Microtunneling is a remote-operated trenchless construction method that allows for simultaneous excavation and pipe laying. A specially designed boring machine delivered to the city this week will excavate the tunnel through bedrock.

Microtunneling allows for the precise alignment of the sewer over a long distance and avoids the disturbance of streets and residents that results from deep underground excavations.

The North Interceptor Improvement Project includes the installation of approximately 8,700 linear feet of new larger gravity sanitary sewer piping to increase system capacity and reduce pollution discharged to the Hudson River. This will be accomplished by diverting more flows to the city's treatment plant during wet weather flow events. Microtunneling will be used for a 2,000-foot-long portion of the new piping.

Through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL), DEC and the New York State Environmental Facilities Corporation (EFC), $27 million was committed toward this phase of the project through grants and interest-free financing, including:

  • $10 million grant from the Water Quality Improvement Program
  • $5.57 million grant from the Water Infrastructure Improvement grant program
  • $5.57 million grant from the Clean Water State Revolving Fund
  • $3.55 million grant and $2.56 million in short-term interest-free financing from BIL General Supplemental funds. Funding from the BIL for water and sewer infrastructure is administered by EFC through the State Revolving Fund programs.

New York State Environmental Facilities Corporation President & CEO Maureen A. Coleman said, "New York State and EFC are proud to partner with the City of Newburgh to advance this important project that will benefit our environment and local communities. EFC is committed to providing communities with the financial resources and technical assistance needed to get these critical clean water infrastructure projects underway. With Governor Hochul's sustained leadership on environmental infrastructure and unprecedented funding from Congress and the Biden Administration, EFC looks forward to even more environmental infrastructure success stories in 2023."

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner and Environmental Facilities Corporation Board Chair Basil Seggos said, "Protecting water quality is among Governor Hochul's top priorities and it is exciting to see the start of this phase of a project that will help restore the Hudson River and enhance quality of life in the communities along its banks. DEC will continue to partner with the Environmental Facilities Corporation and EPA and work with the city of Newburgh to advance this conveyance project and further improve the region's water quality."

Acting New York State Health Commissioner Dr. James McDonald said, "Across the state, historic investments in drinking and wastewater infrastructure like this are investments in the health of all New Yorkers. This innovative clean water project will help Newburgh strengthen its combined stormwater and wastewater infrastructure systems for generations to come. I thank Governor Hochul for her ongoing commitment to protecting the immediate and long-term health of our communities."

Lisa F. Garcia, United States Environmental Protection Agency Regional Administrator said, "Funding through President Biden's Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is having a positive impact in communities across New York and across the country. The BIL funding, together with the state's own investment, will allow Newburgh to address the untreated sewage that gets discharged into the Hudson every time it rains."

Secretary of State Robert J. Rodriguez said, "New York's ongoing commitment to clean, vibrant and healthy communities is once again on full display with Governor Hochul's exemplary investments in sustainable and resilient water infrastructure projects. These much-needed investments are critical to supporting local governments and provide the foundation for communities to improve public health, enhance environmental protection and achieve economic resilience."

Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer said, "I am proud to deliver this historic $27 million investment to upgrade the City of Newburgh's clean-water infrastructure through the federal Bipartisan Infrastructure & Jobs Law, that I championed in the Senate. For years, I've worked with the City of Newburgh, Riverkeeper, the Newburgh Clean Water Project, and local advocates to improve Newburgh's water infrastructure, with the goal of making our beloved Newburgh neighborhoods healthier and safer places to live and work. Last year, I was proud to secure $12.8 million for Newburgh's North Interceptor Sewer Project through the annual federal budget so Newburgh could begin this important work. I thank the New York State Department of Environmental Conversation and Environmental Facilities Corporation for directing New York's first-ever, clean-water infrastructure construction funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure & Jobs Law to build on this critical work and will continue fighting alongside them to deliver this funding to our Hudson Valley communities."

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand said, "This funding will help modernize Newburgh's aging water infrastructure, enhance storm resiliency, and reduce pollution in the Hudson River," said Senator Gillibrand. "I'm proud to have fought to pass the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to provide funding for projects like this one across New York State, and I'll keep working to secure federal resources to revitalize our communities."

Representative Pat Ryan said, "I am proud to announce the beginning of this crucial project, which will allow for huge improvements to the city of Newburgh's water infrastructure. Every New Yorker deserves access to clean water, and I look forward to working with partners in state, local and federal government to make that a reality."

City of Newburgh Mayor Torrance Harvey said, "The residents and businesses of Newburgh are entitled to clean and healthy water, and I commend Governor Hochul, the NYS teams and our Congressional partners for delivering the financial resources that help make this important project possible. Plain and simple, it will help ensure that generations of Newburgh residents will grow up in a cleaner, healthier community. This is what government working together for the people looks like and we're excited to be moving forward together on this project."

New York continues to increase its investments in clean water infrastructure. Most recently, in the 2023 State of the State agenda, Governor Hochul committed to invest $500 million in clean water funding in her upcoming budget, bringing New York's total clean water infrastructure investment to $5 billion. To leverage these investments and ensure ongoing coordination with local governments, Community Assistance Teams will provide proactive outreach to small, rural, and disadvantaged communities to help them access financial assistance to address their clean water infrastructure needs.

In addition, with voter approval of the $4.2 billion Clean Water, Clean Air, and Green Jobs Environmental Bond Act in November, there are additional, historic levels of funding to update aging water infrastructure and protect water quality; strengthen communities' ability to withstand severe storms and flooding; reduce air pollution and lower climate-altering emissions; restore habitats; preserve outdoor spaces and local farms; and ensure equity by investing at least 35 percent, with a goal of 40 percent, of resources in disadvantaged communities.

Contact the Governor's Press Office

Contact us by phone:

Albany: (518) 474-8418
New York City: (212) 681-4640

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