The New York State Environmental Facilities Corporation's (NYSEFC) board of directors has approved about $60m in grants, interest-free and low-cost loans to support drinking water and wastewater infrastructure projects across the state.

The announcement was made by New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo.

This funding will provide much-needed assistance for 12 drinking water projects and five wastewater projects in Upstate New York, including over $25m in grants that were awarded last summer in the second round of funding made available through the Water Infrastructure Improvement Act.

Governor Cuomo said: "This funding will provide critical infrastructure support to towns, villages and cities across New York, as well as lay the foundation for future growth.

"By making strong investments in clean water infrastructure in these communities, we will help to secure a more sustainable, more prosperous and healthier New York for all."

Recognizing that municipalities simply cannot keep pace with their ever-expanding water infrastructure needs, the Executive Budget includes the $2bn Clean Water Infrastructure Act of 2017.

This Act will build on the progress made through the Water Infrastructure Improvement Act of 2015, which made $225m in grants available to New York State communities in the program’s first two rounds alone.

Environmental Facilities Corporation president and CEO Sabrina M. Ty said: “EFC continues to work diligently with municipalities across the State to help them to efficiently and economically meet their water infrastructure needs. Under the Governor’s leadership our ability to provide financial and technical assistance to these municipalities continues to grow.”

Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner and Environmental Facilities Corporation chair Basil Seggos said: “Working with local communities, environmental groups and civic organizations, New York continues to make significant investments in water quality infrastructure and the overall environmental health of our communities across the state.

"Governor Cuomo has made it a priority to improve community resiliency and address the risks to wastewater infrastructure posed by floods, coastal surges and power outages.  These state grant programs support the vital updates needed to ensure our wastewater systems are operating safe and efficiently and protect water quality.”

Department of Health Commissioner Howard Zucker said, “Through the Environmental Facilities Corporation, Governor Cuomo is advancing vital upgrades to water systems across the state. Clean water is essential to public health and New York’s significant investments in water infrastructure will protect this precious resource and the millions of New Yorkers who rely upon it, now and into the future.”

The grants, along with the interest-free and low-interest loans provided by EFC allow municipalities to finance these projects at a significantly lower rate than financing on their own. Additionally, 77% of the loans approved today are interest free.