By MARK WOODSON
Funding is now available for projects that will assist communities with the detection, monitoring and reporting of Combined Sewer Overflows (CSOs) to enhance reporting of the Sewage Pollution Right to Know law, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Acting Commissioner Basil Seggos announced today. Up to $500,000 is available for this grant program.
“This grant program is the first in the state to provide funds for this type of work,” Acting Commissioner Seggos said. “Citizens want to know when a combined sewer is overflowing and they deserve to have that information. These funds will give municipalities the resources needed to install equipment and develop reporting tools to better inform the public.”
Under the Sewage Pollution Right to Know law, communities with CSO outfalls must notify the public of combined sewer overflows during wet weather events. However, some municipalities lack detection and monitoring equipment to provide their citizens with useful and timely information. This grant will help to solve that problem, allowing municipalities to use state funds to purchase and install different types or levels of detection and notification. The grant is focused on smaller communities that typically lack funding to install these types of devices. Individual grants are capped at $50,000.
Specific information about the grant is available on DEC’s website at http://www.dec.ny.gov/pubs/105337.html. Municipalities who want to apply for the grant should log on to Grants Gateway at http://grantsreform.ny.gov and search for “New York State Sewage Pollution Right to Know Grant Program.” Applicants will fill out their applications in the Grants Gateway web-based system. Applications are being accepted until June 24, 2016.
The Water Infrastructure Improvement Act of 2015 (ACT), established as part of the 2015-2016 New York State Budget, originally provided $200 million in grants over three years to municipalities for critical drinking water and wastewater system improvements. This year’s budget increased funding support for the Act by $200 million for a total of $400 million. There is $175 million available this year and municipalities have until June 20, 2016 to apply for the funding.
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