New York Gov. Kathy Hochul has announced the availability of $600 million to communities statewide through the Water Infrastructure Improvement Act (WIIA), Water Quality Improvement Project (WQIP) Program, and Intermunicipal Grant (IMG) programs to fund projects to upgrade infrastructure and make communities more resilient to flooding and other impacts of climate-driven severe storms and weather events.
These grants will provide funding for water infrastructure projects that increase community resilience to flooding and are critical to protecting public health and the environment, the governor’s office said in a Sept. 21 statement.
In addition, the Publicly Owned Treatment Works Asset Management Program will make $10 million available to establish asset management programs that will help municipalities monitor, protect, and responsibly plan upgrades for wastewater infrastructure systems, at no cost. An additional $5 million in Green Innovation Grant Program grant funding will be available to communities for green infrastructure to address stormwater, and water and energy efficiency.
“It is anticipated that jobs in the manufacturing, engineering, construction, plant operations and related industry sectors will be created as a result of this massive infusion of public funding,” Hochul says in the news release.
The statement says Hochul is directing State agencies to work together to expedite the State’s ability to invest in vital green infrastructure projects, and proposing to rename the “Clean Water, Clean Air and Green Jobs Environmental Bond Act,” to recognize the urgency of the bond act investments, and work with the legislature to ensure this proposal, and the Environmental Protection Fund, Clean Water Infrastructure Act and Environmental Agency spending are appropriately structured to advance the State’s resiliency agenda to protect New Yorkers and the environment. In addition, the Governor announced that she will propose a $1 billion increase to the “Clean Water, Clean Air and Green Jobs Environmental Bond Act,” which will round out its total to $4 billion.
“It is critical that communities have the financial resources to advance shovel ready projects that put people to work. These efforts will upgrade our infrastructure to make our communities more resilient to flooding and other climate impacts,” she said. “The funding announced today will create jobs and advance essential water quality improvement projects across the state that will ensure that our public water systems are protected and we are better prepared for our changing climate. Assuring the delivery of safe drinking water is critical to the health and wellbeing of all New Yorkers and updating water infrastructure is a key component to achieving this.
“However, New York must make even greater investments in these vital infrastructure projects, which is why I will be proposing an additional $1 billion be added to the “Clean Water, Clean Air and Green Jobs Environmental Bond Act.” As our state prepares for our new climate reality and to leverage federal infrastructure funding, I am committed to making sure we help our communities and keep our people and infrastructure protected.”
Since the inception of the WIIA program in 2015, the state has released more than $1 billion in clean and drinking water grants through EFC, which includes more than $300 million in grants in 2019.
Local units of government are eligible to apply for funding for:
- WIIA grant awards that will fund up to 25% of an eligible wastewater project’s total cost, up to $25 million.
- WIIA grant awards will fund up to 60% of an eligible drinking water project’s total cost, up to $3 million.
- IMG awards will fund up to 40% of an eligible wastewater or drinking water project for communities that share services, up to $30 million.
- EC awards for projects addressing emerging contaminants above the State determined Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) will fund 60% of net eligible project costs.
- WQIP grant awards that will protect drinking water sources.