Rye has been awarded $10 million under the New York State Water Quality Improvement Program (WQIP). The $10 million funding, plus a $2.5 million matching obligation from the City, will allow Rye to 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. The award was announced by Governor Kathy Hochul on Tuesday.
This sewer upgrade project will reduce the amount of untreated wastewater entering Long Island Sound during storm events. “This grant will help Rye enormously as we pay for our ever more expensive list of badly-needed capital projects,” said Rye Mayor Josh Cohn.
“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. Thanks and congratulations are due to our City staff, as well, for all the hard work needed to gain this important success.”
The $10 million award is part of the $108 million that was awarded for 51 projects statewide under WQIP. The WQIP grant program funds projects that directly improve water quality, or aquatic habitat, or protect a drinking water source.
“We were thrilled to see that the City of Rye received a $10 million grant from New York State’s Water Quality Improvement Project program. This funding will help enable the city to upgrade its sewer system, which is the kind of necessary work Save the Sound has been urging Rye and other Westchester communities to undertake in order to protect the health of Long Island Sound,” said David Ansel, regional director of water protection for Save the Sound. Save the Sound sued Rye and other local municipalities back in 2015 over raw sewage that was leaking into waterways and down into the Long Island Sound.
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 (DEC) 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 2018 $3.9 million grant award under WQIP for several large sewer repairs and pump station projects.
State Assemblyman and Rye resident Steve Otis said, “This funding will allow Rye to ramp up its plans to address water system challenges that were highlighted by Hurricane Ida in 2021. Only three Westchester proposals secured awards this round. Congratulations to Mayor Cohn, the City Council, and City staff for the work that went into this successful proposal.”
State Senator Shelley B. Mayer said, “Particularly after Hurricane Ida, we have been laser-focused on upgrading our sewer systems, and I’m proud to have been deeply involved in working with Mayor John Cohn, the members of the City Council, and city leadership in these efforts. Sewage systems are particularly important in the face of rising sea levels and increased flooding. 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.”