The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded more than $2 million to New York state for clean water projects.
EPA announced this week that $2.1 million would support New York’s public water systems. It’s part of the agency’s Public Water System Supervision program.
The money will be distributed through the New York State Department of Health.
In a statement, EPA Region 2 Administrator Pete Lopez said the grant supports DOH “by giving them the flexibility to administer and advance programs that will ensure New Yorkers have quality drinking water.”
According to EPA, the money will help the state inspect water systems and determine corrective measures. It will also assist DOH in assessing water systems, investigating complaints, and solving site-specific operational problems.
JP O’Hare is a Health Department spokesperson…
“This federal funding secured by New York state will add to our already robust $2.5 billion commitment to prioritizing drinking water infrastructure improvements to communities across the state,” said O’Hare.
O’Hare is referring to New York’s Clean Water Infrastructure Act, signed last year by Governor Andrew Cuomo. Included in the act, $1.5 billion in grants was made available for water infrastructure improvements.
Meanwhile, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation continues to test locations across the state for PFAS chemicals, the class of pollutants that have been found in places like Hoosick Falls, Petersburgh and Newburgh.
Erica Ringewald is a spokesperson for DEC.
“Through New York’s Water Quality Rapid Response Team, these funds are supporting DEC and DOH and our work across the state investigating and responding to areas impacted by emerging contaminants like PFOA and PFOS,” said Ringewald.
DEC is locating and investigating potentially contaminated sites across New York. The department said in a statement that it has “reviewed and mapped all known potentially impacted areas, and any sites determined to be a threat to public health or the environment were prioritized for immediate actions.”
Part of that investigation is the review of inactive landfills for the presence of PFAS chemicals and possible impacts on groundwater and drinking water.
Sites were identified in part through data collected through a mail survey sent to 2,500 potential users of PFCs in 2016.
EPA anticipates New York will receive a second round of funding through the Public Water System Supervision program, bringing the total amount to approximately $4.5 million.