EANY Response to NYS Legislature Rejecting Hochul’s Clean Water Funding Cuts

The 2024-2025 State Budget proposed by Governor Hochul on January 16th included $250 million for the Clean Water Infrastructure Act (CWIA), New York’s pivotal funding source for ensuring safe water for all New Yorkers. This marked a 50% decrease in annual clean water funding – since 2019, each of the last five state budgets have provided $500 million to the CWIA.

This week, the State Assembly and Senate rejected these cuts, standing in support of maintaining robust funding for clean water initiatives. Both houses included $500 million for the CWIA in their budget proposals. The Senate included an additional $112.5 million for other water quality programs.

Rob Hayes, Director of Clean Water with Environmental Advocates NY, stated:“We commend the State Legislature for decisively rejecting the Governor’s ill-advised proposal to cut clean water funding, a proposal which would harm New Yorkers’ finances, jobs, and health. The threats to clean water across the state are growing, not shrinking, and state investments to address these threats must keep pace. By supporting at least $500 million the Clean Water Infrastructure Act, the Legislature is prioritizing public health, economic vitality, and a more affordable New York. We thank Speaker Heastie and Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins for their environmental leadership and urge Governor Hochul to support full funding for the Clean Water Infrastructure Act in the final state budget.”

Background Information: The Clean Water Infrastructure Act, established in 2017 following significant water crises in Hoosick Falls, Newburgh, and other areas, provides grants to protect and enhance water quality across New York. Since its inception, the Governor and State Legislature have directed $5 billion into this nation-leading program to replace water mains and lead pipes, upgrade sewage treatment facilities, address toxic PFAS contamination, and more. According to the Governor’s office, the most recent round of CWIA grants are estimated to save New Yorkers $1.3 billion and generate 24,000 jobs throughout the state.