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New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos and Environmental Facilities Corporation (EFC) President and CEO Sabrina M. Ty announced today that 10 municipalities have been selected to participate in a new $3 million pilot program. In the pilot, an engineering firm will work with each municipality free of charge to develop asset management planning to improve operations, management, and maintenance of wastewater treatment plants and sewage collection and conveyance systems.
"Governor Cuomo continues to invest in updating and upgrading New York’s water infrastructure to keep our communities healthy and economically vibrant. This pilot program is an example of the depth of the state’s investment. Municipalities will receive expert advice and assistance at no cost, allowing them to better manage resources and serve communities," said DEC Commissioner Seggos. "A municipal sewage system that is properly functioning, well-maintained, and fiscally sustainable for the long-term will protect public health and safety, as well as the environment."
"Under Governor Cuomo’s leadership, the State continues to expand the tools and financial assistance available to municipalities to address their water infrastructure needs," said Sabrina M. Ty, EFC President and CEO. "This new pilot program will assist municipalities to more efficiently manage their existing systems while assessing future needs."
Ten communities were selected to participate in the three-year pilot Municipal Sewage System Asset Management Program. The municipalities will work with DEC, EFC, and the engineering firm Barton & Loguidice (B&L) to develop or enhance their municipal asset management plans. During the pilot, the municipalities will implement their plans and provide feedback to DEC and EFC.
Systems improvements, or ’asset management,’ help wastewater treatment facilities operate facilities more efficiently by saving resources. Asset management focuses on managing the critical, physical components (assets) of a wastewater system (e.g., treatment facilities, pipes, tanks and pumps) with the goal of minimizing the overall costs of owning and operating these assets while delivering quality services to customers and protecting public health and the environment.
Key aspects of asset management include asset inventories, informed decision-making, and long-term funding strategies. Asset management planning is also a useful approach to enhancing storm resiliency and water and energy efficiency in clean water infrastructure systems.
DEC solicited volunteers for the pilot program in late 2015. More than 80 municipalities applied to participate. For the pilot, DEC chose those 10 that represent a variety of wastewater systems in order to learn how asset management works in different places around the state.
The pilot program will use $3 million for the project.
DEC will use the information gathered during the pilot program to finalize its Asset Management Program guidance. The guidance will then be released for public comment before finalization.