News > News > Water Quality > Outside Hurricane Sandy’s Path, Little Help for Water Infrastructure in Governor Cuomo’s 2014 Budget

Outside Hurricane Sandy’s Path, Little Help for Water Infrastructure in Governor Cuomo’s 2014 Budget


Contact: Tina Posterli, 516-526-9371, [email protected]

Ossining, NY – January 22, 2014 – Riverkeeper’s President, Paul Gallay, offered the following comments regarding funding levels for water infrastructure and agency staffing in Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Executive Budget proposal:

“The Governor’s budget plan uses federal funds to give Hurricane Sandy communities a leg up on water treatment plant improvements and green infrastructure projects and that’s great. However, while the Governor reminds us in his budget briefing book that 30% of New York’s sewage facilities are ‘over 60 years old and beyond their expected useful life,’ those communities will continue to struggle with outdated sewage treatment infrastructure, as there’s no increased funding for them in this budget.

Think of all the people we could put to work and how much healthier New York would be if we invested in our aging water quality infrastructure, which the state itself calls a system ‘in crisis.’ Recent reports demonstrate the value of infrastructure investment to local economies and the continuing need for economic stimulus, especially in upstate communities. Water infrastructure investment, in particular, can also drive continued growth in New York’s all-important tourism industry.

We also need to invest more in DEC field staff. The Governor’s budget does nothing to undo the damage caused by years of disproportionate cuts to this agency, which has lost 30% of its staff since 1990 – triple the State average.”

Riverkeeper challenges Governor Cuomo and the State Legislature to help local communities make critical investments in water infrastructure by doing the following:

  • Help fund local water infrastructure projects with capital grants from the State’s “NY Works” program.
  • Provide more aid to localities by increasing available funding from the State’s Environmental Facilities Corporation.
  • Exempt local water infrastructure spending from the State’s 2% Tax Cap.
  • Help identify key water quality problem areas by reinstating cut funding for monitoring and sampling in and around water treatment plants and public waterways.
  • Undo the disproportionate cuts to DEC staffing levels made under previous administrations.

Tell Gov. Hochul to block invasive species at the Erie and Champlain canals
Become a Member