Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand is sponsoring a bill that would create a $5 Billion grant program to fund water infrastructure projects over the next decade. Her measure is modeled after the US Department of Transportation’s TIGER program that annually provides $500 Million in funding for transportation projects.
The grants funded by Gillibrand’s Promoting Infrastructure and Protecting the Economy (PIPE) Act could be used to construct, replace, or repair public drinking water and waste water infrastructure, including projects to upgrade facilities to comply with water quality regulations to protect public health and the environment.
Wastewater treatment facilities are, on average, 30 years old, and 30 percent of the underground sewers are over 60 years old and operating beyond their useful life expectancy.
In 2017, State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli released a report that said the cost of water infrastructure projects in the state could top $40 Billion over the next twenty years, with some estimates putting the price tag as high as $80 Billion.