Empowering Communities, Advocating Solutions


Source: Niagara Frontier Publications

Panepinto renews push for S.3612 on 50th anniversary of Gov. Rockefeller's Pure Waters Bond Act, U.S. Clean Water Act

Posted: May 13, 2015
Originally Published: May 12, 2015

Panepinto: "Let us once again show the nation that New York state is resolute in protecting its most valuable resources."

Recognizing the anniversary of two historic pieces of environmental legislation, State Sen. Marc Panepinto, D-Buffalo, renewed his push for the passage of his Clean Water, Clean Air and Green Jobs Bond Act - S.3612. He issued the following statement:

"Today, we mark the anniversaries of the Pure Waters Bond Act and the Clean Water Act. But we do so in a world much different than those who signed them into law had envisioned. Their mission has fallen to the wayside. Twenty years later, New York state's water and air infrastructure are in need of repair to the tune of billions of dollars. Meanwhile, recent events across the state and nationwide continue to highlight the importance of upgrading our green infrastructure for generations to come.

"The Clean Water, Clean Air and Green Jobs Bond Act will act as an extension to those historic pieces of legislation, creating jobs and protecting our environment. The time to act is now. On this historic day, let us once again show the nation that New York state is resolute in protecting its most valuable resources."

The Clean Water, Clean Air and Green Jobs Bond Act would provide $5 billion in public investment, by authorizing the state comptroller to issue and sell bonds. Doing so would leverage funds for billions more in private ventures, becoming the most significant investment in protecting and upgrading green infrastructure in New York's history.

"While much has changed in the past 50 years, at least one thing remains unchanged: New Yorkers overwhelmingly support investments in protecting clean water. The time has come to reinvest in clean water, because we can't afford not to. Flood protection, sewage infrastructure, drinking water protection are all necessities supported by the vast majority of New Yorkers. Citizens Campaign for the Environment commends Sen. Panepinto for his leadership in fighting for a long-term solution to protect New York's environment," said Adrienne Esposito, Citizens Campaign for the Environment executive director.

"The Alliance for the Great Lakes applauds efforts by New York state to invest in the restoration and preservation of our waters. The Clean Water, Clean Air and Green Jobs Act would provide important funding for drinking and wastewater facilities in need of repair, and support green infrastructure and climate change adaptation projects that protect the environment and improve the resiliency of our communities," said Nate Drag, Alliance for the Great Lakes Watershed Project coordinator.

Panepinto's bill (S.3612) would authorize funding for the following:

•$2 billion for clean water through:

· Protection of state watersheds and natural resources

· Drinking water supply and flood protection

· Protection of open space, farmland, habitat restoration, flood prevention, climate change adaptation, water quality-related research and development, water quality restoration projects, and state and municipal parks

•$2 billion for clean water infrastructure, including:

· Repair, replacement and updating of municipal wastewater infrastructure, septic systems and drinking water supply systems

•1 billion for air quality improvement, including:

· Environmental health and community restoration

· Green infrastructure

· Pollution prevention projects in urban communities

· Restoration and improvement of contaminated areas

· Community gardens and greenways

Panepinto represents the 60th Senate District, which includes parts of the City of Buffalo as well as communities in both the north and the south towns of Western New York.