Up to $1 million in no-interest loans is available
to municipalities with damaged drinking water
or wastewater treatment facilities.
(Photo: Saranac Lake Volunteer Fire Department)
A new emergency loan program will help local governments make immediate repairs to drinking water and wastewater treatment facilities damaged by Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee. The Hurricane Emergency Loan Program (HELP) will provide up to $1 million in no-interest loans for each municipality that needs critical assessment and repair of flood damage to its drinking water or wastewater treatment facility. Repairs to pump stations, electrical equipment, treatment facilities and other critical equipment are eligible for the loans. Communites can also obtain funds to hire temporary emergency services, such as vacuum truck hauling, bypass pumping and disinfection, and related engineering and other professional services.
A $25 Million Emergency Fund
To create this $25 million emergency fund, the New York State Environmental Facilities Corporation (EFC) is using funds from the Drinking Water and Clean Water State Revolving Funds (SRFs). SRFs traditionally provide short- and long-term financing for major improvements to water and sewer systems in New York.
Governor Andrew Cuomo called the loans “a lifeline to communities working hard to recover from these devastating storms,” and DEC Commissioner Joe Martens noted that “the sooner repairs can be made, the sooner drinking water can be fully protected and harm to the environment can be minimized.”
EFC President and CEO Matthew J. Driscoll noted, “DEC organized engineers from DEC, EFC, the Army Corps of Engineers and other agencies to perform site inspections that will qualify a municipality for both a HELP loan and FEMA assistance.” Driscoll is also co-chairman of the governor’s Upstate Storm and Flooding Recovery Task Force.
EFC created the HELP loans in cooperation with the State Department of Health (DOH), DEC, the State Emergency Management Office and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. EFC and DOH administer the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund, while EFC and DEC administer the Clean Water State Revolving Fund.
DEC engineers have contacted all affected facilities and are available for further assistance. EFC financial analysts are available to drinking water and wastewater plant administrators and other officials for questions and consultation. For more information and assistance with a HELP loan, local governments in counties designated as eligible for FEMA assistance are invited to call James Levine, EFC Senior Vice President and General Counsel at 1-800-882-9721 or via e-mail at email@example.com
Source: NY DEC EnvironmentDEC October Issue