Long Island and portions of the state outside New York City are set to receive $600 million in the third and final installment of federal recovery funds to repair damage caused by superstorm Sandy and prepare vulnerable areas for future storms, state and federal officials said Friday.
As much as $525 million of that is being sought for Long Island infrastructure projects, intended to keep the region from being crippled by overwhelmed wastewater systems, according to the office of Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.).
The key proposals to be funded, subject to a state action plan, are for a nitrogen-removal system for the Bay Park Sewage Treatment Plant to protect coastal marshes in Nassau; river-widening and drainage-management portions of a plan for a "buffered bay" on Nassau's South Shore, and expansion and construction of sewer systems in Suffolk.
Officials hope the upgrades will leave waterfront areas better prepared to withstand catastrophic conditions, adding to resiliency projects in New York City and other parts of the state that were hit by Sandy on Oct. 29, 2012, and two earlier tropical storms, among other disruptive weather.
"New Yorkers have suffered a tremendous burden in recent years . . . . Sandy, Irene and Lee, flash floods and other weather emergencies throughout our state have forced us to be innovative, resourceful and strategic in our recovery efforts," Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said in a statement. "We will continue to return people to their homes and rebuild New York State communities better, stronger and more resilient than ever before."
The latest allocation of Community Development Block Grants and disaster relief through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development brings the total from that agency for the state's recovery effort outside of New York City to $4.4 billion.
Altogether, the state will have received $8 billion in such federal appropriations for housing, infrastructure repair and upgrades and economic development projects.
In this round of funding from the $50 billion approved by Congress, New York City was to receive $994 million; New Jersey, $882 million; Connecticut, $21 million; and Rhode Island, $671,000.
Schumer said he pushed for funding the Long Island projects, partly to cover gaps in other commitments for resiliency projects.
"Nitrogen removal at the Bay Park Sewage Treatment Plant and sewering in Suffolk County are exactly the type of infrastructure improvement that we had in mind when crafting the Sandy relief bill: They are essential steps toward protecting public health, the environment and Long Island's beloved waterways that act as natural mitigation during storms," Schumer said in a statement.Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano welcomed the help "to improve infrastructure" while adding that "too many residents continue to struggle in rebuilding their lives."