Funding for Water Infrastructure, E-Waste Recycling Helps Counties
Funding for Water Infrastructure and E-Waste Recycling Helps Counties Ensure Safe Drinking Water, Protect the EnvironmentThe New York State Association of Counties (NYSAC) commends state lawmakers for addressing the following environmental and public health issues that impact counties throughout New York:
Environmental Protection Fund
The enacted budget increased funding for the Environmental Protection Fund (EPF) from $123 million to $300 million. It also included a one-time increase of $120 million from bank settlement funds to support capital projects within the EPF.
Clean Water Infrastructure
NYSAC has called for standardized drinking water regulations, a state and local public drinking water safety taskforce, and a more streamlined process for notifying the public of potential drinking water concerns.
The enacted budget provides $200 million for the Water Quality Infrastructure Improvement Act of 2015 to provide grants to municipalities for the replacement and repair of existing wastewater infrastructure and drinking water infrastructure. Up to $100,000,000 will be available in SFY 2016-17, with the remaining $100,000,000 to be available in SFY 2017-18.
"Our clean drinking water infrastructure is more critical than ever, as we have seen in Flint, MI and in communities across New York. We appreciate the state's support and recognition that we need to dedicate financial resources to fixing and maintaining our aging water systems," said Eric Wohlers, Vice Chair, NYS Conference of Environmental Health Directors and the Environmental Health Director of Cattaraugus County Health Department.
Reimbursement to Counties for Electronic Waste Recycling
The NYS Electronic Equipment Recycling and Reuse Act requires electronics manufacturers to recycle e-waste. However, insufficient manufacturer support is causing instability in the electronics recycling market for counties and local governments. Manufacturers have failed to keep up with e-waste being produced in our communities. Municipalities, therefore, have faced significant costs to comply with the Act's e-waste disposal requirements. NYSAC has called on the state to offset the cost of municipal e-waste recycling, which has become a challenge for many counties to fund and carryout.
The enacted 2016-2017 NYS budget allocates $3 million out of total $14 million in the Environmental Protection Fund appropriation for municipal recycling and waste reduction projects. It also expands eligible uses for EPF funding to include marketing for a secondary productive reuse of cathode ray tubes (CRTs).
"Many counties end up absorbing the costs of recycling the electronic waste disposed of by their residents. This reimbursement will provide much needed financial support to our counties for the responsible collection and recycling of electronic waste," said NYSAC Executive Director Stephen J. Acquario.
"This reimbursement will greatly help counties in making sure electronics continue to be properly collected and recycled," said William Rabbia, President of the New York State Association for Solid Waste Management.
The New York State Association of Counties is a bipartisan municipal association serving the counties of New York State. Organized in 1925, NYSAC's mission is to represent, educate and advocate for member counties.