Sunday, January 30, 2022
Clean water balance
Governor Kathy Hochul’s budget proposal unveiled last week included major investments in clean water and an outline of how she envisioned the state spending a $4 billion environmental bond bill that will will be submitted for voter approval in November.
The proposal included $500 million for drinking water infrastructure spent on local projects across the state. The funds will be used to improve sewage treatment plants and drinking water systems.
The governor’s proposal would increase state funding for invasive species prevention and eradication from $13.3 million to $17 million. The proposal would also channel $15 million to the state’s soil and water conservation districts, funds that could be used to address harmful algal blooms and other environmental concerns.
The budget would allow DEC to fill more than 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 an increase in staff, according to the governor’s proposal.
Hochul also won applause from conservationists with a proposal to strengthen wetland regulations and make wetland maps more accessible to the public.
As the proposal progresses through the Legislature, we will continue to explore the impact of the new wetland rules on the Adirondacks and pursue some of the other ideas from Adirondack advocates not included in the initial budget offer. from Hochul.
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 register.