Sunday, January 30, 2022

Clean water budget

wetlands protection part of state budget

Gov. Kathy Hochul’s budget proposal unveiled last week included some major investments in clean water and a preview of how she envisions the state spending a proposed $4 billion environmental bond act that will go up for voter approval in November.

The proposal included $500 million for clean water infrastructure spent on local projects across the state. The funds will support improvements to wastewater treatment plants and drinking water systems.

The governor’s proposal would increase state funding on invasive species prevention and eradication, from $13.3 million to $17 million. The proposal would also funnel $15 million to soil and water conservation districts across the state, money that could be used to combat harmful algal blooms and other environmental concerns.

The budget would enable DEC to fill over 90 positions, according to the Adirondack Council, including 31 positions in the state’s air and water divisions. The Adirondack Park Agency would also see a staff boost, under the governor’s proposal.

Hochul also earned plaudits from environmental advocates with a proposal to strengthen wetland regulations and make wetland maps more publicly accessible.

As the proposal makes its way through the legislature, we will continue to explore how the new wetlands rules would impact the Adirondacks and track some of the other ideas from Adirondack advocates not included in Hochul’s initial budget offer.

Photo: A marsh along the Oswegatchie River. Photo by Zachary Matson

Editor’s note: This first appeared in Zach’s weekly “Water Line” newsletter. Click here to sign up.

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Zachary Matson has been an environmental reporter for the Explorer since October 2021. He is focused on the many issues impacting water and the people, plants and wildlife that rely on it in the Adirondack Park. Zach worked at daily newspapers in Missouri, Arizona and New York for nearly a decade, most recently working as the education reporter for six years at the Daily Gazette in Schenectady.

One Response

  1. plumbsup says:

    I agree! Regular water line maintenance is essential as it ensures continuous water supply and prevents pipes from bursting which is costly to repair and replace. Water is vital to every home and hence the need to ensure that there is a good flow of water into your home. This is why maintenance is very important.

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