New Yorkers Deserve Clean Water!

Tell NYS to Invest in Clean Water Infrastructure

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Aging and failing sewage infrastructure discharges raw sewage into local waterways, jeopardizing human health, closing beaches, harming fish and wildlife, and damaging local economies. Drinking water infrastructure is also in a state of constant disrepair, with communities facing ever-increasing water main breaks every year and a more and more cases of drinking water contamination across the state.

While New York State has begun to make some laudable investments in water infrastructure in recent years, more needs to be done. Recognizing this, Governor Cuomo recently proposed the Clean Water Infrastructure Act of 2017 in his executive budget proposal, which would significantly build upon existing programs and invest $2 billion in critical clean water projects over the next five years.

This historic investment would not only help fix our aging and failing sewage and drinking water infrastructure, but it would also help protect our waters at the source and prevent drinking water contamination. We need this critical program to be included in the final 2017-18 New York State budget!

Long-term problems require long-term solutions. Email Governor Cuomo and legislative leaders today! Tell them you support protecting drinking water, and urge them to enact the Clean Water Infrastructure Act in the NYS budget.

Background:

Antiquated sewage and drinking water infrastructure threatens our environment and health while compounding economic struggles:

The American Society of Civil Engineers gave New York's drinking water infrastructure a C grade and its sewer and wastewater systems a D grade.
According to reports generated by New York's Sewage Pollution Right to Know law, there are 5 overflows of raw or partially treated sewage into our waters every day.
Bacteria and viruses in untreated sewage pose a significant health risk. Between 1.8 and 3.5 million Americans become ill annually from contact with recreational waters contaminated by sewage.
Water main breaks threaten access to drinking water, close schools and businesses, and hurt local economies across the state. In just one year, NYC had 530 water main breaks, Erie County had 1,453 water main breaks, and Syracuse had 400 water main breaks.
 

While repairing and replacing New York's clean water infrastructure is absolutely necessary, it will also be costly. Over 20 years the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) estimates that over $36 billion is needed to repair and upgrade sewage infrastructure, while the New York State Department of Health estimates drinking water infrastructure needs in excess of $38 billion. Federal investments in water infrastructure have decreased significantly in recent years, and municipalities alone cannot fund the large-scale infrastructure improvements that are needed to protect our drinking water, health, and economy.

The Water Infrastructure Improvement Act of 2015, which is providing $400 million in grants to municipalities over three years (through 2017) for critical drinking water and wastewater system improvements, is an important step in the right direction. However, with approximately $70 billion in water infrastructure needs over the next 20 years, a $400 million investment over three years will not adequately address our clean water infrastructure needs. New York can and should do more.

Thank you for taking action. Together we make a difference!

Sincerely,

All of Us at CCE