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One Year Later, EPA-Funded Recovery Act Projects Yielding Cleaner Air, Water and Land Across New York State; EPA Assistant Administrator for Water Visits Renewable Energy Installations in Syracuse

Release Date: 02/17/2010
Contact Information: John Senn, (212) 637-3667, senn.john@epa.gov

(New York, N.Y.) One year ago today, President Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, and over the last year, projects funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have yielded cleaner air, water and land, and new jobs across the country. Nowhere is this better exemplified than in New York State, where EPA’s Recovery Act funding has spurred cleanups of toxic waste sites and leaking petroleum storage tanks, cleaner water, and projects to reduce air pollution from diesel engines. EPA Assistant Administrator for Water Peter S. Silva today visited one such project, a drinking water system in Syracuse that will soon be partially powered by wind and hydroelectric energy thanks to Recovery Act funding.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is providing more than $560 million for environmental cleanups and upgrades across New York State. Recovery Act funding is paying for:

  • nearly $432 million in wastewater improvements;
  • about $87 million for drinking water projects;
  • well over $15 million in clean diesel projects;
  • almost $15 million for Superfund cleanups;
  • more than $9 million to address leaking underground storage tanks;
  • $2.5 million for brownfields assessments and cleanups.

More than $40 million of the wastewater and drinking water funds were dedicated to projects that derive power from clean renewable sources like wind, solar and hydropower and improve energy efficiency, like those highlighted today in Syracuse. The New York State Environmental Facilities Corporation, a public benefit corporation, oversees the distribution and implementation of the state’s wastewater and drinking water funding.

“A year after President Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, it’s clear that the environment, public health and the economy are benefiting from projects like the green innovation projects at the Westcott Reservoir,” said EPA Assistant Administrator Peter S. Silva. “Because of projects like this one – and dozens of others across the state – municipalities across New York are saving money by increasing energy efficiency and generating their own green power.”

EFC President and C.E.O. Matthew J. Driscoll said: “The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act made great strides to protect and rebuild our State’s failing water infrastructure and hard-hit economy. In addition, these projects will provide taxpayer savings through reduced energy and water use, while protecting our water bodies. I would like to express my gratitude to Governor Paterson and the New York Congressional Delegation for their work to secure and disburse these critical funds."

Assistant Administrator Silva, EPA Deputy Regional Administrator George Pavlou and New York State Environmental Facilities Corporation President and CEO Matthew J. Driscoll visited the Westcott Reservoir in Syracuse, which received two Recovery Act grants to install solar and hydroelectric systems as a way to offset the reservoir’s demand for energy. The City of Syracuse is installing a solar power system at the reservoir that will provide some 56,000 kilowatt hours of renewable power per year to help power the city's drinking water system. Recovery Act funding in the amount of $487,273 is paying for most of the $536,000 project. The city is also constructing a 50 kilowatt microturbine hydropower system at the Westcott Reservoir, which will generate approximately 450,000 kilowatt hours of electricity per year to help offset the energy demands of the water system. The project will cost $350,000, with $315,000 coming from the Recovery Act.

When President Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, he directed that it be implemented with unprecedented transparency and accountability. To that end, the American people can visit http://www.recovery.gov to see how every dollar is being invested.

For more information on the Westcott Reservoir project and other Recovery Act wastewater and drinking water infrastructure projects in New York, visit http://www.nysefc.org/home/index.asp?page=590.

For more about EPA's implementation of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, visit http://www.epa.gov/recovery/, and for information on the implementation in New York, visit http://www.epa.gov/region02/eparecovery/.

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