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May 26, 2024
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Governor Hochul Announces $78 Million for Clean Water and Drinking Water Infrastructure Projects

Financial Assistance for New York City Includes Additional $50 Million for an Ongoing Drinking Water Project

Approximately $8 Million in Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Funding Will Support Projects in the Capital Region and Southern Tier

Governor Kathy Hochul today announced the Environmental Facilities Corporation Board of Directors approved $78 million in financial assistance for water infrastructure improvement projects in the Capital Region, Finger Lakes, New York City, North Country, Southern Tier and Western New York regions. These investments will help communities large and small undertake projects that are vital to public health, quality of life, economic development and environmental protection.

“Improving our water infrastructure is essential for building safe and healthy New York communities,” Governor Hochul said. “This financial assistance makes all the difference in being able to provide safe drinking water to New Yorkers, protect our natural resources and ensure the projects are successful and affordable.”

The Board’s approvals include financings through the Clean Water State Revolving Fund and Drinking Water State Revolving Fund, and grants already announced pursuant to the State’s Water Infrastructure Improvement (WIIA) and Intermunicipal Grant (IMG) programs. Funding from the federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) for water and sewer infrastructure is administered by EFC through the State Revolving Funds. The Board’s approval authorizes municipal access to capital to get shovels in the ground for critical water and sewer infrastructure projects.

Environmental Facilities Corporation President and CEO Maureen A. Coleman said, “Governor Hochul’s commitment to clean water is demonstrated yet again with today’s significant investment, on the heels of announcing $325 million for State water grants earlier this week. We are making strategic improvements to our State’s water infrastructure and these investments will benefit New Yorkers for generations to come.”

Clean Water Projects:

  • Albany Municipal Water Finance Authority (Capital Region) – $2,127,250 short-term interest-free financing and $4,254,500 grant from BIL general supplemental funds, as well as a $3,625,000 WIIA grant for the planning, design, and construction of combined sewer overflow abatement projects constructed in the Cities of Troy, Albany and Cohoes in support of the Albany Pool Combined Sewer Overflow Long Term Control Plan.
  • Village of Endicott in Broome County (Southern Tier) – $75,295 WIIA grant for the construction of collection system improvements.

Drinking Water Projects:

  • New York City Municipal Water Finance Authority – $50,000,000 short-term market-rate financing for the construction of a second water conveyance tunnel from the Kensico Reservoir to the Catskill/Delaware Ultraviolet Disinfection Facility in Eastview.
  • Village of Portville in Cattaraugus County (Western NY) – $1,622,559 short-term interest-free financing and $785,971 grant from BIL general supplemental funds, as well as a $3,000,000 WIIA grant for improvements to well sources and treatment buildings; chlorine treatment and fluoridation treatment system processes and the north storage tank; replacement of the south storage tank reservoir, aged and undersized watermains, valves and hydrants; and installation of telemetry and new water meters.
  • City of Rochester in Monroe County (Finger Lakes) – $3,000,000 WIIA grant for the replacement of approximately 1,100 lead, lead-lined and galvanized water services.

Refinancing Completed Projects Will Achieve Long-Term Debt Service Savings

The Board also took action to help ensure continued, long-term affordability of existing projects. This includes approving an $847 million bond sale to refinance various wastewater and drinking water projects and refunding prior bonds issued for the New York City Municipal Water Finance Authority (NYCMWFA). Refunding bonds delivers additional savings for New York City ratepayers by refinancing the original bonds that funded their projects at an even lower interest rate. The transaction is estimated to save $149 million for New York City ratepayers over the next 30 years.

In addition to the bond sale on behalf of New York City, the Board approved $10 million in long-term interest-free financing for three existing projects in the Village of Lake Placid in Essex County (North Country), the Village of Sherman in Chautauqua County (Western NY) and the Town of Woodhall in Steuben County (Southern Tier). Short-term financing provides capital for design and construction of projects. Once project construction is completed, the short-term financing is typically refinanced to long-term financing for up to 30 years, saving municipalities significant interest expenses versus financing on their own.

Based on current market conditions, these long-term interest-free financings are projected to save ratepayers an estimated $15 million in interest payments over the life of the financings.

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner and EFC Board Chair Basil Seggos said, “Governor Hochul continues to prioritize the protection of New York’s water quality, as seen with the significant infrastructure and resiliency investments in the 2024-25 Executive Budget which would bring total funding since 2017 to $5.5 billion, and the $78 million in grants and financing assistance announced today. The funding will assist municipalities statewide in completing projects to protect drinking water and restore natural resources, while supporting economic growth in areas that need it most.”

New York State Health Commissioner Dr. James McDonald said, “I thank Governor Hochul and the Environmental Facilities Corporation for their leadership in developing funding opportunities that support clean drinking water infrastructure. This financial assistance will be a gamechanger for many communities, enabling them to begin critical drinking water projects that will safeguard the health of their residents.”

Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer said, “Clean drinking water is a right for everyone, which is why I sent major federal dollars flowing to New York in our Bipartisan Infrastructure & Jobs Law to upgrade our aged drinking water and sewer infrastructure. Today’s funding adds to the millions to build out clean and drinking water systems and ensures families, children and seniors in every corner of the Empire State can have contaminant-free water. From the Capital Region to Western New York, more of our neighbors will have clean drinking water as we create jobs, jobs, jobs. I am proud to deliver this critical federal funding with Governor Hochul to turn the tide on New York’s aging water infrastructure.”

Representative Paul Tonko said, “Every life and every job depends on water. That basic fact is why I’ve worked for years in Congress to scale up federal investments in drinking water and was deeply proud to advance the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to address America’s collapsing water systems. I’m thrilled to see these critical dollars flowing to our communities and will continue working to ensure all New Yorkers have access to safe, clean drinking water.”

New York Secretary of State Robert J. Rodriguez said, “Clean water is vital to any community and protecting it must be a priority to help maintain a positive impact on the health of all New Yorkers. By placing water infrastructure on a sustainable path, we are leaving a lasting legacy for future generations.”

New York’s Commitment to Water Quality

New York State’s nation-leading investment in clean water infrastructure totals $5 billion since 2017. Governor Hochul this week announced $325 million in grants is available for water infrastructure projects through the next round of the State’s WIIA and IMG programs. This action immediately delivers on Governor Hochul’s clean water funding commitments announced in her Executive Budget and State of the State, which include a series of changes to maximize benefits for small, rural, and disadvantaged communities. Applications and full eligibility criteria will become available at efc.ny.gov on Monday, February 5.

The Governor launched Community Assistance Teams to expand EFC’s technical assistance program and help small, rural and disadvantaged communities leverage this funding to address their clean water infrastructure needs. Any community that needs help with their water infrastructure needs is encouraged to contact EFC at efc.ny.gov/CAT.

The voter-approved $4.2 billion Clean Water, Clean Air and Green Jobs Environmental Bond Act is advancing historic levels of funding to update aging water infrastructure and protect water quality, strengthen communities’ ability to withstand severe storms and flooding, reduce air pollution and lower climate-altering emissions, restore habitats, and preserve outdoor spaces and local farms. The first round of funding under the Environmental Bond Act was awarded through the WIIA/IMG programs in December, when Governor Hochul announced $479 million in grants to 156 projects across New York State. Disadvantaged Communities will receive at least 35 percent of the benefits of Bond Act funding, with a goal of 40 percent.

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