Clean water can be the difference between healthy or sick kids. We take it for granted, but as recent national and state headlines (like we have seen in Flint, MI and Hoosick Falls, NY) have reminded the public: there is a sacred bond between our health and our water. With an increase in concerns of contamination, and more and more broken pipes leaving New Yorkers without access to clean water, Environmental Advocates and our partners are ramping up our efforts to secure $800 million in the next state budget – which will be finalized in a matter of weeks – for drinking and wastewater infrastructure needs.
It’s the perfect opportunity for legislators to lead and work with Governor Cuomo to go beyond the initial investments they secured last year.
One of the positive initiatives in Governor Cuomo’s 2016-2017 Executive Budget Proposal is a $100 million increase to the existing $200 million grant program to #FixOurPipes created last year. It was an important acknowledgment that more needed to be done to protect clean water.
Particularly in the wake of events like the city of Troy’s massive water main break that caused the release of 10 million gallons of water, flooded neighborhood streets and basements, closed businesses and disrupted daily life for thousands of residents.
Numerous neighboring communities lost access to clean water for days.
The coalition Environmental Advocates of New York leads has grown to a diverse group of business leaders, infrastructure and construction experts, as well as environmental and public health advocates, including groups like the Associated and General Contractors of NYS, The New York State Pipe Trades, Reinvent Albany, Hudson River Watershed Alliance, and Buffalo-Niagara Riverkeeper. I urge you to view the letter signed by dozens of organizations that we submitted to legislators, including Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie.
In the coming weeks, our broad spectrum of organizations will continue coming together to advocate public clean water needs to the Governor and within the halls of the Capitol. Track our progress on social media using the hashtag #FixOurPipes!