LTE: Create Fund So We Can Fix Wastewater Infrastructure

This Letter to the Editor was published in The Buffalo News on March 5, 2018.

Create Fund So We Can Fix Wastewater Infrastructure

The News reporting on the recent sewage discharges into the Scajaquada Creek shines a bright light on the outdated wastewater infrastructure that so many communities have. Unfortunately, these discharges happen with nearly every rain or snowmelt event.

And this is just one example of what is, unfortunately, a statewide problem – all 62 counties have an identified need for sewage infrastructure and clean water upgrades and replacements. In fact, the state’s Department of Environmental Conservation and Department of Health have cited an $80 billion need over the next 20 years.

In the past few years, our leaders have recognized the need and the state is making overdue investments in clean and wastewater infrastructure. However, funding still falls far short of what is required to prevent regular water main breaks and sewage overflows that interrupt daily life in so many communities.

As part of this year’s budget deal, the governor and the Legislature should continue putting more muscle behind the water investments by creating a sustained, annual funding stream of at least $800 million.

Elizabeth Moran, Water & Natural Resources Director for Environmental Advocates of New York