PRESS RELEASE: Key NYS Clean Water Funding Restored in State Budget

Larchmont, NY —The New York State Legislature and Governor Kathy Hochul cut the delay in reaching a budget deal this session nearly in half of what it was in 2023. The real good news is that funding for the Clean Water Infrastructure Act avoided the same fate.

The record $237 billion state budget for FY 2025 passed Saturday afternoon contained $500 million for the Clean Water Infrastructure—the same amount allotted every year since 2019. The Governor’s executive budget released in mid-January had called for that $500 million annual investment to be spread across two years, a proposal that ignited three months of pushback from leadership in both the Senate and Assembly, as well as from Save the Sound and environmental advocates across the state.

Also included in the budget deal is $400 million for the Environmental Protection Fund, another key source of funding for clean water projects, without $25 million in offloads to cover staffing costs, as the Governor also proposed back in January. All funding will be available for EPF programming.

“We’ve been saying since the start of session that this would be an imprudent time to backtrack on our investment in clean water projects,” said David Ansel, vice president of water protection for Save the Sound. “We were pushing for $600 million, and we know there are environmental champions in the Legislature who agreed. But we’re glad that the investments in the both the Clean Water Infrastructure Act and the Environmental Protection Fund remain where they’ve been for several budgets, and that communities in the Long Island Sound region and across the state will be able to access record levels of funding essential to reducing pollution by upgrading wastewater and stormwater infrastructure, improving resiliency, and protecting New Yorkers from toxic contaminants like PFAS. Now, we must focus on getting this money out the door and directed to the communities who need it most.”

While the new budget will keep spending flat for the CWIA and EPF, it does not include any components of the New York Home Energy Affordable Transition Act. NY HEAT not only would significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions but also cap energy bills for many New Yorkers at six percent of household income. Instead, this bill with its environmental and economic benefits will have to be passed through the Legislature; it passed the Senate on March 19, and currently sits in the Assembly Committee on Corporations, Authorities, and Commissions.

“We are disappointed that the NY HEAT Act was not included in the budget. Its inclusion would help reduce greenhouse emissions from the buildings sector, the state’s largest source of emissions. There is a pathway forward. The Assembly must follow the Senate’s lead in approving this as an individual bill. Speaker Heastie, please listen to your constituents and bring this up for a vote. We need the NY HEAT Act to fight climate change and ensure cleaner heat and cheaper bills for New Yorkers statewide,” said Alex Rodriguez, environmental justice specialist for Save the Sound.

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