Long Island has received an initial federal grant of $2.25 million to improve the water quality on its north shore.
Governor Kathy Hochul and the Long Island Sound Study on Tuesday announced the funding, which is provided by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and comes in addition to finalizing a plan to help Nassau County reduce nitrogen pollution.
The two projects are expected to attract additional resources to help restore and protect Long Island’s drinking water and bays.
“This federal funding will improve watersheds and septic systems in countless Long Island communities, furthering our commitment to ensure all New Yorkers have access to safe, clean water,” Governor Hochul said.
“Thanks to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, we will continue to work with President Biden and the Environmental Protection Agency as more resources become available to address the critical water infrastructure challenges facing our communities and further achieve our water quality improvement objectives.”
The projects are also intended to help address excess nitrogen, which leads to areas of dead zones or hypoxia in marine waters, potential fish kills, harmful algal blooms, and deterioration of storm-resilient marshlands.
The funding comes as the first installment in a multi-year anticipated partnership with the Long Island Sound Study that will increase funding available to replace outdated septic systems in Suffolk and Nassau counties.
Over the course of five years, an anticipated $8 million from the federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) will help support state and locally driven water quality improvements.
The Long Island Sound Study is a cooperative effort involving researchers, regulators, user groups, and other stakeholders, and is led by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), New York, and Connecticut.
Water quality infrastructure funding from New York State is also supporting septic replacement, according to the governor’s office.
Hochul recently announced $30 million in funding from the State’s Septic Replacement Program – $22 million of which will go to Long Island projects – to help address thousands of substandard or failing septic systems and cesspools that cause significant water quality impairments in the region and throughout the state.
The 2022-23 State Budget authorized an additional $1.2 billion, for a total of $4.2 billion, for the state’s Clean Water, Clean Air, and Green Jobs Environmental Bond Act to update aging water infrastructure, and protect water quality; reduce air pollution and lower climate-altering emissions; restore habitats; strengthen communities’ ability to withstand severe storms and flooding; preserve outdoor spaces and local farms; and ensure equity by investing at least 35 percent, with a goal of 40 percent, of resources in disadvantaged communities.