New York State is giving $27 million in grants for 13 essential Long Island drinking water and wastewater infrastructure projects, including to the City of Long Beach for changes to its sewage treatment plant, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced Thursday.
The grants are part of a $255 million statewide investment, funded through New York’s Clean Water Infrastructure Act that Cuomo announced in April.
“This unprecedented investment continues New York’s commitment to helping municipalities develop necessary infrastructure to protect our water resources,” Cuomo said in a news release. “These investments are crucial to supporting the health and safety of our communities, and help lay the foundation for future growth and prosperity in every corner of this great state.”
The money will fund upgrades and replacements for drinking water systems, filtration plants and water mains, as well as the construction or enhancement of wastewater treatment plants, pump stations, and sewer systems, officials said.
The $4.5 million to Long Beach was the largest award and will go toward $18 million city officials had been seeking to convert its sewage treatment plant into a pump station.
Long Beach currently releases its treated sewage, known as effluent, into Reynolds Channel.
A county and city shared-services plan approved in September calls for converting the 70-year-old city sewage treatment plant into a pump station that would transfer raw sewage under Reynolds Channel to the county’s Bay Park Sewage Treatment Plant in East Rockaway.
Bay Park was built in 1949 and refurbished in 1996. It releases its treated wastewater effluent into Reynolds Channel off Long Beach Island. It has long been blamed for causing high nitrogen levels and degraded marshes in the Western Bays.
“Ensuring that Long Beach’s treated effluent is not released into the Western Bays is critically important to its health and vitality,” Sen. Todd Kaminsky (D-Long Beach) said in an email statement. “This round of funding is a critical step in achieving that goal but more is needed and the fight continues.”
The other grant awards range from $154,750 for the Town of Riverhead to $3 million each to the Water Authority of Western Nassau County, Carle Place Water District, Hicksville Water District, and the Jericho Water District. Nine of the grants were awarded to districts in Nassau County.