Governor Kathy Hochul announced March 7 that the City of Rye has been awarded $10 million under the New York State Water Quality Improvement Program (WQIP). This award is part of the $108 million that was awarded for 51 projects statewide.
The WQIP funds projects that directly improve water quality, or aquatic habitat, or protect a drinking water source. In 2019, the City of Rye completed a Sewer System Evaluation Survey (SSES) to locate areas of its sewer system in need of rehabilitation. The implementation of certain projects identified in the SSES corresponds with the Consent Order Rye entered into with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and a federal Stipulated Order that the City entered into to settle the Save the Sound Clean Water Act lawsuit.
The City of Rye has invested over $8 million toward completing critical sewer infrastructure upgrades over the last several years – including through the successful execution of a $3.9 million grant award under WQIP in 2018 for several large sewer repairs and pump station projects.
With this new grant funding, plus the City’s $2.5 million matching obligation, the City of Rye will upgrade its sewer system by completing spot repairs and replacements, installing approximately 22,000 linear feet of pipelining, and repairing 500 manhole defects city-wide. This project will reduce the amount of untreated wastewater entering Long Island Sound during storm events.
City Manager Greg Usry said, “I am thrilled for the City, and so appreciative of Ryan Coyne, Kristen Wilson, and Brian Shea and their work in securing the award. This is the largest grant in the City’s history. The guidance and support of Senator Mayer and Assemblyman Otis was invaluable.”
Mayor Josh Cohn said, “This grant will help Rye enormously as we pay for our ever-more expensive list of badly-needed capital projects. Our thanks to Governor Hochul and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, and especially to Senator Shelley Mayer and Assemblyman Otis for their critical support in the WQIP process.” He also thanked and congratulated City staff for all their hard work.
Only three Westchester proposals secured awards this round, noted State Assemblyman Steve Otis. “This funding will allow Rye to ramp up its plans to address water system challenges that were highlighted by Hurricane Ida in 2021.” He added, “Governor Hochul’s commitment to clean water funding is again demonstrated by this round of Water Quality Improvement grants, her strong water infrastructure proposal in the state budget, and her consistent support of New York’s nation-leading water quality programs.”
In the face of rising sea levels and increased flooding, said Senator Mayer, “sewage systems are particularly important. We must continue to invest in sewage infrastructure to ensure wastewater and sanitation systems are managed appropriately and keep our communities healthy while protecting our bodies of water.”