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EPA

June 29, 2020 - 3:51pm

Press release:

U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today announced $220 million in Congressionally appropriated State Revolving Funds (SRFs) from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for New York State that will revitalize water infrastructure projects to protect surface water and provide safe drinking water to Upstate communities.

The senators emphasized the necessity of the funding, which comes at a critical time for New York as the state recovers from the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

“New York has some of the oldest sewer systems in the country, and last year, nearly 200 waterways that provide drinking water in the state were found to contain contaminants flagged as dangerous by the EPA,” Senator Schumer said. “This federal funding will help address the hazard that aging water infrastructure presents to the health of thousands of New Yorkers.

"I will continue to fight tooth and nail to make sure that New York gets every dollar it needs to replace and repair every inch of waterway that will keep New Yorkers safe and healthy.”

“Access to clean water is a right, and New York’s communities deserve clean drinking water and wastewater systems they can trust,” Senator Gillibrand said. “This EPA funding is great news for the New York Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Funds and will improve the quality of vital water infrastructure, enhance our water recycling system, and protect our state’s lakes and rivers.

"I will continue fighting for the resources needed to enhance public health and provide New Yorkers with access to safe and reliable water.”  

Specifically, the Senators said, $175 million out of the total funding is being allocated toward the New York Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) program, which provides low-interest loans and principle forgiveness for the improvement of water quality protection infrastructure projects that include modernizing wastewater infrastructure, implementing water reuse and recycling, and addressing stormwater.

Since its inception in 1990, the CWSRF, in conjunction with the New York Environmental Facilities Corporation (EFC) and NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, has provided $28.5 billion in low-cost financing.

Additionally, Schumer and Gillibrand added that $45 million out of the total funding is going toward the New York Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) program which provides low-interest loans and principal forgiveness for the construction of drinking water and infrastructure projects, and for the administration of small system technical assistance, source water protection, capacity development, and operator certification.

The DWSRF has provided $6.3 billion to assist public water systems across the state.

The federal funding allocated by the EPA will be distributed by New York State, which will contribute an additional 20 percent to match the federal grants.

The Senators have fought for years to secure sufficient funding for the CWSRF and DWSRF, fighting the Trump administration’s efforts to cut funding for the program by hundreds of millions of dollars. Most recently they secured $4 billion for the EPA’s State and Tribal Assistance Grants Program which provides money to the CWSRF and DWSRF, among other vital environmental programs.

May 19, 2020 - 12:01pm

Press release:

The Town of Batavia Water Department reminds businesses to flush internal water plumbing systems if your facility has been closed or unoccupied for several weeks prior to reopening.

Our public water contains a residual chlorine disinfectant. As water use in a building slows or stops, the water tends to stagnate, causing a loss of this residual disinfectant.

This can lead to bacteria growth, as well as taste and odor issues, discolored water, and potential leaching of higher than normal concentrations of service line and premise plumbing materials such as lead and copper. Keeping the water moving, flushed and refreshed, is crucial in these situations to ensure clean, clear water, free of these unhealthy contaminants.

The Town of Batavia Water Department is issuing this guidance to ensure the safety of the water supply and the health and welfare of our customers, as businesses and facilities begin to reopen (due to the coronavirus pandemic) .

The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) has issued guidance for “Maintaining or Restoring Water Quality in Buildings with Little or No Use," the link can be found here.

Or visit the Town of Batavia website for that guidance.

For questions or assistance, you can contact the Town of Batavia Water Department at (585) 356-4900.

May 27, 2015 - 2:55pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in EPA, agriculture, farm bureau, chris collins, NY-27.

From Rep. Chris Collins:

Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) today released the following statement after the Obama Administration finalized its Clean Water Act "Waters of the United States" Rule.

“The Obama Administration's ruling today is a continuation of their regulatory assault on our nation's farmers," Congressman Collins said. "The EPA’s overreach is causing real harm for local farmers and stalling business development. When I visit with local farmers, the heavy burdens under the Clean Water Act come up each and every time. When the bureaucrats at the EPA decide to call a divot in the ground that fills with rain a ‘navigable waterway’ under the CWA, we know our federal government has run amuck. I will continue to do all I can to fight this burdensome and business crushing ruling."

Last May, Congressman Collins led a bipartisan letter, signed by a majority of Congress, to the EPA Administrator asking for the Waters of the United States Rule to be withdrawn. Full text of the letter can be read here. This Congress, Congressman Collins co-sponsored H.R. 1732, the Regulatory Integrity Protection Act of 2015, which would require the Administration to withdraw its Waters of the United States Rule. H.R. 1732 passed the House of Representatives earlier this month.

From Dean Norton, Elba farmer and president of the NYS Farm Bureau:

“Today the Environmental Protection Agency released the final rule on the definition of “Waters of the United States” in the Clean Water Act. New York Farm Bureau members have been strongly opposed to the changes proposed by the EPA because of the potential regulatory overreach that will allow for federal control over land that is typically dry. Clean water has always been a priority and necessity for farmers, but we are concerned that the rule will strip property owners of long-held land rights.

New York Farm Bureau has serious concerns that the EPA has failed to take into consideration the thousands of comments from farmers, business owners, and property owners, who feel this rule would add unnecessary burdens on their land. EPA would have accomplished much more working with farmers than just brushing their legitimate concerns aside. We will be carefully reviewing the final rule, but based on comments from EPA, we remain concerned that the agency did not listen to our nation’s farmers or made significant changes to the rule,” NYSFB President Norton said.

October 21, 2014 - 5:00pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in agriculture, EPA, NY-27, chris collins.

Rep. Chris Collins was honored today by the American Farm Bureau for his efforts on behalf of the agriculture community, not only in Genesee County and New York, but throughout the United States.

Collins spearheaded an effort to get the EPA to back off waterway rule changes that farmers -- and others -- say will drive up the cost of business, if not put them out of business.

It's a top legislative priority of the Farm Bureau, said New York bureau President Dean Norton, to convince the EPA to "ditch the rule," which he says would change the definition of navigable waterways to include small ditches and puddles, which are common on farms.

Norton presented Collins with an award from the Farm Bureau at a gathering at Post Farms in Elba.

Jeff Post thanked Collins for taking up the cause.

"If you look across the back of our farm, which we've been farming for 100 years, we have a lot of ground that would fall into the rule to be permitted," Post said. "It would have a large impact on a small producer like us."

At the urging of Norton, Collins took up the cause with the goal of getting 100 members of Congress to sign a letter urging the EPA to ditch the rule. Collins had 100 signers in a week. In another week, Norton said, he had 200. Eventually, 240 members of Congress, Republicans and Democrats signed the letter.

"This goes to show you just how flawed the rule is," Norton said. "Then when you have other organizations like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce coming out and saying, 'ditch the rule,' and when you have the small business administration telling their partner agency, 'you need to rewrite this thing, it's really flawed,' it tells you it is flawed."

Collins also said the fact the letter would garner such bipartisan support shows how seriously off track the EPA has gotten on the proposed rule change.

"I was able to get majority of Congress, which is very hard to do today, Republicans and Democrats alike, over 240 members, to send a letter to the administrator to the EPA asking, demanding, that they withdraw the rule and start over," Collins said. "There was too much ambiguity, too much worry in a rule that was out for comment."

In a hearing, Collins said, a deputy at the EPA "effectively admitted" that the proposed rule is flawed. The official said the comment period, which has been extended again, to Nov. 15, is designed to give the EPA information to fix any flaws in the rule.

"They said, we can fix it after the comments are done," Collins said. "My comment to them was, 'we don't trust you. No one trusts you. The public doesn't trust you. Farmers don't trust you. Congress doesn't trust you not to overreach yet again.' "

Collins, left, Post and Norton.

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