Aug 17, 2006

New York Announces $5.8 Million Plan to Improve Water Quality

New York Governor George E. Pataki announced more than $5.8 million in grants for over 60 projects aimed at water quality improvements throughout the state. The goal is to lessen pollution in waterways and restore aquatic habitats.

According to All34 municipalities and Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCDs) will be awarded $2,931,644 throughout the State’s Nonagricultural Nonpoint Source Abatement and Control Program. These grants will fund projects that will help reduce water pollution from runoff sources that are not agricultural, such as storm water. A major source of pollution in New York can be found in storm water runoff because it carries automotive fluids, animal wastes and other contaminants into waterways.

In addition, $2,903,876 will fund 26 projects that should help municipalities comply with the State’s implementation of the federal Clean Water Act’s Phase II storm water controls. The projects aim to aid 253 municipalities in 19 counties protect water quality by implementing measures to limit storm water runoff and control the pollutants that come from runoff.

The Phase II storm water program requires about 450 communities throughout New York to obtain permit coverage of their Municipal Separate Storm Sewers Systems (MS4) in order to reduce storm water discharges into waterways. Under this program, regulated MS4s must implement a Storm Water Management Program by January of 2008. The grants offered to New York municipalities are in an effort to help those communities achieve Phase II compliance.