In 1965 the New York State Legislature passed Chapter 176, "The Pure Waters Bond Act," which provided construction grants of 30 percent for the construction costs of sewage collection and treatment facilities with an additional 40 percent grant from the Federal Government through the 1967 Federal Water Pollution Control Act. The need for such legislation to provide secondary treatment of wastewater was evident since our rivers, streams and lakes had become severely polluted. Once these facilities came on line, water quality improved dramatically through the United States and at an affordable cost to local communities.
In 1996 the voters of New York State passed the 1.75 billion dollar Clean Water/Clean Air Bond Act to restore, preserve and protect our state’s valuable resources by financing projects with direct environmental benefits to improve our air and water. The District has applied for project funding for upgrades identified in the county Capital Plan that will benefit county residents by further reducing pollutant discharge. Project funding will be in the form of grants, long term loans or both and will be based on environmental benefits and need.
The Pure Waters Bond Act of 1965 and the Federal Water Pollution Control Act of 1967 has had a profound impact on the Hudson River basin. Treatment plants constructed during the 1970’s have improved water quality to a point where fishing, boating, drinking water supplies, along with river front parks, are now an economic benefit to the cities, towns and villages located along the Hudson River and its tributaries. The addition of the 1996 Clean Water/Clean Air Bond Act will expand these possibilities for all New York residents in providing increased recreational and economic opportunities while improving our environment.
The District is responsible for assuring compliance with our New York State Pollution Discharge Elimination System Permits along with the Federal Pretreatment Program as defined in Local Law No. 1, 1984. Under these guidelines, our department provides the essential services to member communities and county residents in the treatment of wastewater generated within the county to preserve our health and the environmental quality of our waters.
In order to enable us to carry out the District’s mission in a cost effective and efficient manner in providing and enhancing the services provided to the residents of Albany County by our department, we are participating in new initiatives initiated by the Albany County Executive. The year 2000 project, Outcome Management, and the Five Year Technology Plan, along with the counties Capital Plan, will aid the district in remaining responsive to the needs of the people we serve.
For more information about the services we provide, I encourage you to leaf through our web site. Our staff of dedicated professionals are here to serve and assist you in any way we can.
Richard J. Lyons