Bill Memo: Expanding Clean Water Technical Assistance

1-Tree: Beneficial rating

Summary

This bill directs DEC to designate a representative for each environmental conservation region of New York to serve as a point of contact for municipalities as they apply for water funding.

Explanation

This bill directs the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to select representatives for each environmental conservation region of New York State to serve as points of contact for municipalities applying for water infrastructure funding. These representatives will increase access to critical funds to fix drinking water and wastewater infrastructure.

New York’s water infrastructure is aging and crumbling. Water mains constantly break, outdated sewer pipes dump billions of gallons of raw sewage into our waterways annually, and thousands of lead pipes contaminate our drinking water. The threat of super storms induced by climate change that cause devastating floods only exacerbates this crisis.

New York State has several robust grant programs to help municipalities pay for updated infrastructure, including the Water Infrastructure Improvement Act. Yet many municipalities find it challenging to complete the complex and technical applications for these funds. Some may decide not to submit an application at all, while others may submit incomplete applications that leave them unable to receive a grant.

The representatives created under this bill will provide municipalities with an important resource to help them navigate the application process. Ultimately, these representatives will result in more shovel-ready applications and more projects across the state to protect New Yorkers’ drinking water. The scale of our water infrastructure crisis demands more proactivity to ensure that communities have the resources to fix their pipes.

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Environmental Advocates NY Bill Rating: Beneficial

Memo #: 29