Rep. Katko Delivers Aid to Address Water Infrastructure Challenges Plaguing Central New York
SKANEATELES, NEW YORK – Standing today before Skaneateles Lake, U.S. Rep. John Katko (NY-24) announced significant increases in funding and the reauthorization of federal programming to help address the water challenges facing Central New York.
“Nearly one year ago, I stood on the shore of Owasco Lake in Cayuga Countyto talk about the need to improve water infrastructure in our community and my commitment to lead that fight in Congress. Since then, Central New York has continued to face significant water infrastructure challenges, especially with the recent detection of Harmful Algal Blooms in Skaneateles Lake. That’s why I’ve continued to fight to ensure our community has the resources it needs to provide clean drinking water to families and businesses,” said Rep. John Katko (NY-24). “Today, I’m proud to announce that, because of my efforts, we have achieved a significant funding increase to study and help mitigate Harmful Algal Blooms. In addition, I’m proud to have delivered an increase in funding to the State Revolving Funds to assist state and local governments with water infrastructure needs, and to reauthorize the Brownfields Program, which provides the funding necessary to rehabilitate blighted land. I’ll continue to work alongside our local advocates to ensure communities throughout this district have access to clean, safe drinking water.”
Last week, Congress passed and the President signed into law an omnibus spending bill that contained several provisions led by Rep. Katko to strengthen water infrastructure, including:
- A $1.3 million increase in funding to combat the scourge of Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) affecting Central New York and communities nationwide.
- A $600 million increase to the Drinking Water and Clean Water State Revolving Funds (SRF programs), which has provided billions of dollars in interest free loans and grants since their creation. The SRF is the primary federal program that provides financial assistance for states and local communities nationwide to make high priority water investments. The majority of public water systems and municipalities across Onondaga, Cayuga, Wayne, and Oswego Counties depend on these funds to maintain and repair local water infrastructure. Rep. Katko has led efforts for the past two years urging House appropriators to double SRF funding from current levels. Rep. Katko’s letter has become the largest water infrastructure funding letter of its kind in Congress with over 90 Members of Congress, on both sides of the aisle, signing on.
- The inclusion of bipartisan legislation authored by Rep. Katko to reauthorize the EPA’s Brownfields Program. This program provides the funding necessary to rehabilitate blighted land previously used for industry, or for the processing or storage of toxic materials and waste. Communities throughout the 24th district, including Auburn, Syracuse, and Oswego, have repeatedly benefited from this program.
- Robust funding for programs which help preserve, protect and restore lakes, rivers and waterways in Central New York, including the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, the North American Wetlands Conservation Act, and the Land and Water Conservation Fund.
- Increased funding for other federal programs that have proved invaluable to the preservation of clean drinking water and effective water infrastructure in our region, such as the US Department of Agriculture Water and Sewer Loan and Grant Program, the Circuit Riders Program, and the USDA Grassroots Source Water Protection Program, all which help assist small and rural communities with their water infrastructure needs.
Rep. Katko was joined in making today’s announcement by a bipartisan group of elected officials from Onondaga and Cayuga Counties, as well as the leaders of the Skaneateles Lake Association and the Owasco Watershed Lake Association.