Today, Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (NY-18) joined Hudson Valley local leaders to celebrate investments in lead pipe removal, clean water, and cleanup of PFAS contaminants coming to the Hudson Valley thanks to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. Rep. Maloney was instrumental in delivering these funds for the Hudson Valley – he voted for the transformative legislation and helped draft portions of the law as a member of the Transportation & Infrastructure Committee.
“Families across the Hudson Valley can sleep a lot easier at night knowing help is on the way to ensure our drinking water is clean. Thanks to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, we will replace all lead water pipes, clean up polluted superfund sites, and remove contaminants like PFAS from our environment,” said Rep. Maloney. “I am proud to have voted for and helped draft this critical legislation which will deliver a historic investment in our water infrastructure, including $400 million for New York just this year.”
Rep. Maloney was joined by local leaders and advocates. Among those who spoke or stood in support were:
- Mayor Torrance Harvey
- Senator James Skoufis
- Wayne Vradenburgh, Water Superintendent, Newburgh
- Ramona Monteverde, Newburgh City Council Ward 2
- Giselle Martinez, Newburgh City Council Ward 1
Partial footage from the event, featuring remarks by all speakers, can be found here and may be used for publication. See below for quotes from those leaders and highlights from remarks:
“Thank you Congressman Maloney[.] I just want to say thank you, and I mean that because lead line replacement is something that has been a high priority on our list here locally in the city of Newburgh,” said Mayor Torrance Harvey. “We know the science. We know the science is there, the research is there on the horrible effects of lead exposure particularly in drinking water.”
“This funding helps frontline residents and customers. Infrastructure wise, you’ve seen water mains break across the state. We took a section of water main out a couple of weeks ago and stamped on the side of that water main was 1887. That water main has been in service since 1887. So, with our federal partners and state partners, you know with this infrastructure, it’s a good day for the drinking water industry,” said Wayne Vradenburgh, Newburgh Water Superintendent.
“If you want healthy families, get clean water. You want economic development and business to come to Newburgh, you better have clean water,” said State Sen. James Skoufis. “This is a game changer thanks to Congressman Maloney and his colleagues who supported this funding and I look forward to working with him and everyone who is here […] to make sure our constituents see this funding and we get rid of lead once in for all in all our pipes.”
“I just want to say thank you Congressman Maloney for this. I mean this is going to be, as Senator Skoufis said, a gamechanger for the city of Newburgh and for our residents,” said Ramona Monteverde, Newburgh City Council Representative Ward 2. “This affects families […] You know, our children who are going to school. There are so many awful health effects that affect our kids and also our elderly and our young people. So thank you again, this is going to be fantastic for the city of Newburgh.”
“We are taking action. We are going to make sure that our community is safe. And thank you, we wouldn’t be able to do this without you,” said Giselle Martinez, Newburgh City Council Representative Ward 1.
Background on the Funding for Clean Water Investments from the Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act:
- Across America up to 10 million American households and 400,000 schools and child care centers lack safe drinking water.
- The Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act will invest $55 billion to expand access to clean drinking water for households, businesses, schools, and child care centers all across the country.
- Nationally, those funds include:
- $21 billion to clean up superfund and other polluted sites.
- Nearly $25 billion dollars going to state funds for clean water and drinking water
- $15 billion of direct funding for lead service line replacements at EPA through the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund
- $5 billion to address emerging contaminants
- In 2022, New York will receive over $400 million dollars in funding to improve water quality. Additional funds will be allocated to New York annually for the next five years through the EPA. That $400 million includes:
- $115 million for lead service line replacement
- over $40 million for addressing contaminants like PFAS
- These funds will be allocated by New York State, which is currently in the process of mapping lead service lines and implementing plans for the funding.
- Lead Pipes Background:
- Lead services lines refer to the water pipe that goes from a house or apartment building to the main water line. They are not inherently dangerous, but if the lining of the pipe corrodes, the lead can become exposed. If the lead becomes exposed, the water going into a house can become contaminated.
- You cannot see, taste, or smell lead in drinking water. If local residents are concerned about their water pipes they should:
- Ask their water provider if they have a lead service line providing water to their home.
- Ask to have their water tested.
- Lead exposure is most harmful to children, where lower levels can affect them more.
- Exposure to lead can seriously harm a child’s health and cause well-documented adverse effects such as damage to the brain and nervous system, slowed growth and development, learning and behavior problems, and/or hearing and speech problems.
- This can lead to lower IQ, decreased ability to pay attention, and underperformance in school.
- In Newburgh, there are potentially 2,900 lead service pipes still remaining underground, after the city has replaced 95 lead service pipes with a grant from the state for $795,000.
- PFAS Background:
- An estimated 19 million Americans have PFAS toxins in their water which don’t break down over time and can lead to serious health effects including cancer, premature death, asthma, and infertility.
- Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding to address emerging contaminants like PFAS will be distributed through the EPA’s Clean Water State Revolving Fund (SRF) and the Drinking Water SRF in 2022.
- New York wants to get an estimated:
- $30,793,000 in 2022 for the Drinking Water SRF for addressing emerging contaminants. These funds can be used to remediate PFAS in drinking water.
- $10,403,000 in 2022 for the Clean Water SRF for addressing emerging contaminants.
- Additional information regarding clean water funding can be found on the EPA’s website here and information on the 2022 allocation for New York can be found here.
- Questions regarding lead pipes or water quality in specific localities should be directed to local water departments. Questions regarding timeline for local allocations should be directed to NY State Department of Health.