February 15, 2024
Albany, NY

Governor Hochul Highlights Over $49 Million for Local Water Infrastructure Projects Across New York State

Governor Hochul Highlights Over $49 Million for Local Water Infrastructure Projects Across New York State

Approval of Financial Assistance Authorizes Municipal Access to the Capital Needed for Critical Water and Sewer Projects in the North Country, Finger Lakes, Mid-Hudson, and Western New York Regions

Over $20 Million in Funding Approved from the Federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, Including a $13 Million Grant for Buffalo

Governor Kathy Hochul today announced the Environmental Facilities Corporation Board of Directors approved over $49 million in direct financial assistance for water infrastructure improvement projects across New York State. The Board's approval authorizes municipal access to over $37 million in low-cost short-term financing and previously announced grants to modernize critical drinking water and sewer systems. This infusion of funding will help significantly improve water quality, protect drinking water, and promote economic development in local communities.

“New York State continues to prioritize safe, clean water for all communities and remains at the forefront of innovative water infrastructure funding solutions,” Governor Hochul said. “These investments will advance effective infrastructure improvements that bring long-lasting benefits to more New Yorkers.”

The funding approved today includes over $20 million from the federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL). A $13 million grant for the Buffalo Sewer Authority will modernize the 1970s-era secondary treatment system at the Bird Island Wastewater Treatment Plant. This project will increase the facility's capacity to handle intense rain events that can overwhelm Buffalo's combined sewer/stormwater system, and substantially improve water quality in the Niagara River. New York State has already committed $55 million in grants and low-cost financing toward the project, and the BIL grant will enhance this financial assistance and continue to significantly reduce the impact on local ratepayers.

In addition to Buffalo, grant and interest-free financing packages were approved with BIL funding to support essential projects in the Town of Herman in St. Lawrence County and the Town of Lyons in Wayne County. Previously announced State grants were also approved for projects in these two communities, including funds from the 2022 Clean Water, Clean Air and Green Jobs Environmental Bond Act for Lyons.

Environmental Facilities Corporation President & CEO Maureen A. Coleman said, “Under the leadership of Governor Hochul, New York State is quickly moving significant State and federal investments out the door and onto the streets of local communities for crucial water infrastructure improvements. From the federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to the State’s landmark Environmental Bond Act, the efficient and equitable administration of this funding further solidifies New York’s status as a national model for water infrastructure investment, which serves as the foundation for healthy communities.”

The Board's approvals include financings through the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF)and Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF), and grants already announced pursuant to the Water Infrastructure Improvement (WIIA) and Intermunicipal Grant (IMG) programs. BIL funding for water and sewer infrastructure is administered by EFC through the State Revolving Funds.

Clean Water Projects:

  • Buffalo Sewer Authority, Erie County (Western NY) - $13,869,533 grant from BIL general supplemental funds for the planning, design, and construction of secondary treatment upgrades at the Bird Island Wastewater Treatment Plant.
  • Town of Caneadea, Allegany County (Western NY) - $430,000 WIIA grant for the planning, design, and construction of a disinfection system at the town's wastewater treatment plant.
  • Town of Hume, Allegany County (Western NY) - $2,448,000 short-term interest-free financing, $1,000,000 short-term market-rate financing and an $816,000 WIIA grant for the planning, design, and construction of a pump station and force main in the town.
  • Town of Lyons, Wayne County (Finger Lakes) - $804,655 short-term interest-free financing and $2,100,000 grant from BIL general supplemental funds, and an $804,655 WIIA grant from Environmental Bond Act funds for the planning, design, and construction of improvements to the town's wastewater treatment plant.
  • Village of Mount Kisco, Westchester County (Mid-Hudson) - $2,375,000 WIIA grant for the planning, design, and construction of improvements to the Saw Mill Pump Station and replacement of the Branch Brook Trunk Sewer.

Drinking Water Projects:

  • Village of Franklinville, Cattaraugus County (Western NY) - $1,191,800 short-term market-rate financing and a $2,850,000 WIIA grant for improvements to the village's north and south wellhouses, as well as replacement of approximately 30,000 linear feet of watermains.
  • Town of Hermon, St. Lawrence County (North Country) - $1,988,850 short-term interest-free financing and $1,640,650 grant from BIL general supplemental funds; $423,500 short-term interest-free financing and $847,000 short-term market-rate financing from base CWSRF, as well as a $3,000,000 WIIA grant for the development of new Spring No. 5, installation of a redundant transmission main from the springs to the water treatment plant, improvements to the water treatment plant, installation of individual water meters and replacement of all distribution mains in Water District No. 1, totaling approximately 25,000 linear feet.
  • Niagara County Water District, Niagara County (Western NY) - $1,245,750 WIIA grant for the replacement of the water treatment plant's one-million-gallon wash water tank.

Refinancing Completed Projects Will Achieve Long-Term Debt Service Savings for Local Ratepayers

The Board also took action to help ensure continued, long-term affordability of existing projects. The Board approved long-term interest-free financing totaling $11 million for three existing projects. Short-term financing provides capital for design and construction of projects. Once project construction is completed, the short-term financing is typically refinanced to long-term financing for up to 30 years, saving municipalities significant interest expenses versus financing on their own.

Projects approved for long-term interest-free financing include the Village of Ilion in Herkimer County (Mohawk Valley), the Village of Medina in Orleans County (Finger Lakes), and the City of Utica in Oneida County (Mohawk Valley). Based on current market conditions, these long-term financings are projected to save ratepayers an estimated $14 million in interest payments over the life of the financings.

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner and EFC Board Chair Basil Seggos said, “Today's announcement underscores Governor Hochul's commitment to investing in water infrastructure to bolster the economy, support communities, and protect the environment. The massive infusion of state and federal funding announced today for clean water and drinking water projects will advance infrastructure upgrades and improvements leading to healthier communities in the North Country, Finger Lakes, and Western New York.”

New York State Health Commissioner Dr. James McDonald said, “Governor Hochul’s commitment to funding these critical and innovative clean water projects is an investment in the current and future health of all New Yorkers. These strategic investments are providing communities with the finances needed to break ground and engage in sustainable infrastructure upgrades that will deliver high quality drinking water and support healthy communities for generations to come.”

New York Secretary of State Robert J. Rodriguez said, “Governor Hochul’s continued investment in water infrastructure is once again reassuring communities across New York that present and future generations will always have access to clean and safe water. This infusion of $49 million will help make lifesaving improvements to our water infrastructure; create stronger, healthier; more sustainable and environmentally resilient communities throughout our great state while also generating jobs to strengthen the economy.”

EPA Regional Administrator Lisa F. Garcia said, “New York State is a leader and great partner. And thanks to the historic Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding, NY is seizing the opportunity to implement the water infrastructure projects it needs and deserves. These projects will not only deliver clean and safe water, but also create jobs and build resilience for a greener future. These investments will benefit New York communities, including historically underserved communities, and the environment for generations to come.”

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said, “Access to clean drinking water and modern sewer systems are fundamental to public health and economic growth, which is why I sent major federal dollars flowing to New York in our Bipartisan Infrastructure & Jobs Law. For too long, cities like Buffalo and rural communities across Upstate NY have dealt with aging water infrastructure, but now, thanks to the historic federal funding I secured, municipalities are finally getting the support they need to upgrade their facilities to help ensure New Yorkers have contaminant-free water and to invest in economic growth. Not only do these dollars mean clean water and modern sewer systems, it also creates jobs, jobs, jobs. I am proud to deliver this critical federal funding with Governor Hochul to turn the tide on New York’s aging water infrastructure and promise to continue fighting to keep our water systems safe and clean for all New Yorkers.”

New York's Commitment to Water Quality

New York State continues to increase its nation-leading investments in water infrastructure, including $325 million in grant opportunities made available in January. With Governor Hochul’s Executive Budget’s proposed $500 million over two years, New York will have invested a total of $5.5 billion in water infrastructure since 2017. This funding complements Governor Hochul’s State of the State initiative to increase water infrastructure grants for small rural communities from 25 to 50 percent of net eligible project costs to help support smaller communities. To leverage these investments and ensure ongoing coordination with local governments, the Governor expanded EFC’s Community Assistance Teams to help small, rural, and disadvantaged communities leverage this funding and address their clean water infrastructure needs. Any community that needs help with their water infrastructure needs is encouraged to contact EFC at https://www.efc.ny.gov/CAT.

The funding is in addition to other substantial water quality investments, including the voter-approved $4.2 billion Clean Water, Clean Air and Green Jobs Environmental Bond Act of 2022 which is advancing 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, and preserve outdoor spaces and local farms. The first round of funding under the Environmental Bond Act was awarded through the WIIA/IMG programs in December, when Governor Hochul announced $479 million in grants to 156 projects across New York State. Disadvantaged Communities will receive at least 35 percent of the benefits of Bond Act funding, with a goal of 40 percent.

Contact the Governor’s Press Office

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