EANY Statement on Clean Water Funding Victory in Final State Budget

April 19, 2024

Albany, NY – In a major victory for New York’s environment and economy, the final state budget fully restores funding for the Clean Water Infrastructure Act to $500 million. Governor Hochul had proposed $250 million for the program, a 50% cut from its usual annual funding, earlier this year.

The following statement can be attributed to Rob Hayes, Director of Clean Water with Environmental Advocates NY:

“We applaud Governor Hochul, Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins, and Speaker Heastie for fully restoring funding for the Clean Water Infrastructure Act in the state budget. We are also deeply grateful to Environmental Conservation Chairs Senator Harckham and Assemblymember Glick, Assemblymember Solages and the Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic, and Asian Legislative Caucus, and their many colleagues in the State Legislature for fighting so hard to defend investments that protect New Yorkers’ access to safe drinking water.

Over the last several months, a broad coalition of labor unions, local governments, and environmental organizations united behind a clear message: clean water is a necessity, not a luxury. Our state faces enormous challenges from aging and failing water infrastructure: over $80 billion is needed to replace lead pipes, eliminate exposure to toxic PFAS chemicals, prevent sewage overflows, and more.

Thanks to the investments made in this budget, millions of New Yorkers will benefit from cleaner water when they turn on the tap. Full funding for the Clean Water Infrastructure Act will create thousands of good-paying jobs, revitalize local economies, and provide critical support for President Biden’s ambitious clean water agenda. This is a victory that every New Yorker, from the shores of Lake Erie to the Long Island Sound, can celebrate.”


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. The $500 million included for the Clean Water Infrastructure Act this year brings the state’s total investment in the program to a historic $5.5 billion. EANY has tracked the success of this funding across the state as well as the outstanding needs to upgrade outdated drinking water and wastewater infrastructure.

The Biden administration is taking bold action to improve drinking water quality across the nation, an initiative which will require significant investments to upgrade water infrastructure here in New York. Last week, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized the first-ever limits on toxic PFAS chemicals in drinking water, which will require at least 300 New York water utilities to install new treatment technology or find a new water source. EPA has also proposed requiring that all of New York’s estimated 500,000 lead pipes must be replaced by 2037.