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Governor Cuomo goes big on water, proposes doubling of clean water investments and other key projects

For immediate release: January 15, 2019

2019 Executive Budget proposal includes some $10 billion for a Green Future Fund

ALBANY — In Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s State of the State address on Tuesday, he proposed some $10 billion for a Green Future Fund to pay for many of the priorities Riverkeeper has been advocating for, including upgrading and modernizing wastewater treatment, protecting drinking water at its source, and promoting public access to our waterways.

“We are excited to see Governor Cuomo ‘go big’ on clean water in his proposed budget,” said Riverkeeper President Paul Gallay. “At a time when President Trump is putting our environment at risk, New York has a chance to step up.”

The $2.5 billion new investment in clean water Cuomo proposed would double the historic commitment to clean water the state made in 2017. We see how critical these investments are in the water samples community scientists collect at more than 400 locations in the Hudson River watershed. These investments mean cleaner water — fewer sewage overflows, and better tap water. Statewide, we need to invest $80 billion to upgrade our water systems, and we look forward to working with the Legislature to ensure we invest as much as possible in this critical priority.

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 New Yorkers face with the multi-faceted approach they demand. While Riverkeeper is excited by the good this proposal can do, we’re eager to see the details.

Among the other priorities identified in the Governor’s proposed executive budget that Riverkeeper shares:

  • $300 million Environmental Protection Fund
  • A ban on plastic bags, although it must be completed with a fee on paper to ensure we don’t replace one environmental problem with another
  • Creation of a state water trail, an exciting new proposal that we expect will help more people enjoy the Hudson River and its tributaries
  • $3 billion to support renewable energy and clean transportation
  • Making the Tire Waste Fee of $2.50 cents permanent, which supports nearly 140 DEC solid and hazardous waste staff
  • Proposing a ban on offshore drilling in New York State’s waters
  • $70 million property tax compensation fund to help communities with retiring power plants transition to renewable energy

The proposals laid out by Governor Cuomo in his executive budget are encouraging and demonstrate a contrast with the approach of President Trump’s administration. We look forward to working with the Governor and legislature on the details.

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Contact: Cliff Weathers, Riverkeeper Communications Director
cweathers@riverkeeper.org; 845-445-8257

One response to “Governor Cuomo goes big on water, proposes doubling of clean water investments and other key projects”

  1. […] New York State’s Assembly and Senate released their “one-house budgets” this week. Each house’s proposed budget presents the vision for what each chamber hopes will be included in a final budget due on April 1st, but the final state budget is ultimately negotiated by just three people: the Governor, Assembly Speaker, and the Majority Leader of the Senate. Here’s a quick look at what Riverkeeper noticed in the proposals from the Assembly and Senate (see here for what we found in the Governor’s proposal). […]

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