In one of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s State of the State addresses today, he proposed a $2 billion Clean Water Infrastructure Act to pay for many of the priorities Riverkeeper has been advocating for, including upgrading and modernizing wastewater treatment, and protecting drinking water at its source.
This will be a huge new investment to stop sewage overflows, prevent contamination of drinking water, and restore polluted waters. The Governor is meeting some of the most important water challenges we face with the multi-faceted approach they demand. While we’re excited by the good this proposal can do, we’re eager to see the details.
Riverkeeper has been advocating for increased investments in water and wastewater infrastructure, investments in drinking source water protection, and other strategies to increase the state’s capacity for dealing with challenges such as combined sewer overflows, harmful algal blooms and toxic drinking water contamination such as has affected Newburgh.
Among the other priorities identified in the Governor’s press release that Riverkeeper shares:
- Implementing drinking source water protection programs to protect high quality drinking water
- Upgrading and modernizing aging wastewater systems to stop sewage pollution
- Conserving open spaces and building green infrastructure to protect watersheds
- Addressing septic system problems in densely populated areas to reduce pollution
- Managing manure, road salt and other common contaminants to prevent pollution
- Increasing the Superfund to clean up hazardous wastes and restore waters