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30% Boost for Hudson Water Quality Projects from NYS Water Grants

State grants have recently been announced, which will result in at least $22.6 million in direct state and federal investments in community wastewater or green infrastructure projects and studies to improve water quality in the Hudson River Watershed.

These grants include the New York State Water Grants, a new grant program established this year through the advocacy of Riverkeeper and a coalition of organizations that is seeking to increase grant funding available in the next budget for water and wastewater projects. The $5.1 million devoted to Hudson River Watershed projects via this new grant program, which included a 50% match by the Environmental Protection Agency, boosted state grant funding for communities in the Hudson River Watershed for water quality projects by 30%.

The grants summarized below also include Water Quality Improvement Project grants from the Environmental Protection Fund, which account for the largest share, 37%, of all water quality-related funded projects summarized here; Riverkeeper is advocating for more grant money to be made available through this budget line, too.

(These highlights also include water quality-related federal Community Development Block, state Green Innovation, state Wastewater Infrastructure Engineering and state Local Waterfront Redevelopment program grants announced this month, but not loans, such as from the largest source of water investments in New York State, the Clean Water State Revolving Loan Fund.)

Some of the highlights of the projects to be funded by recently announced grants include:

  • $7.9 million for Capital District projects that will reduce overflows of sewage and stormwater into the Hudson River in support of the landmark CSO Long Term Control Plan designed to make the notoriously polluted stretch of the river safe for swimming by 2030.
  • $3.2 million for six studies to identify and eliminate sewer overflows and/or infiltration and inflow of stormwater into sanitary sewers outside the Capital District, including $100,000 for the City of Newburgh to continue work to eliminate illicit discharges directly to the Hudson River. These grants in part reflect a good decision by the Department of Environmental Conservation to make larger grants available for the first time specifically to study and reduce infiltration and inflow of stormwater into sanitary sewers, a major cause of sewage overflows.
  • $2.1 million for six projects in the Rondout-Wallkill Watershed, where Riverkeeper is working with partners, including the Wallkill River Watershed Alliance, to understand relatively high rates of fecal contamination observed through community science water quality monitoring.
  • $1.6 million for five municipal stormwater system mapping projects, including comprehensive electronic maps of both Rockland and Westchester Counties.
  • $895,000 for Orangetown to complete a green infrastructure project supported by our partner the Sparkill Creek Watershed Alliance that will improve water quality in the creek.
  • $287,500 for Wappingers Falls to create a 9-element watershed plan for the Wappinger Creek Watershed, a first-of-its-kind study in the Hudson River Watershed.

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