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For Release: Monday, July 12, 2021

DEC Announces Start of Construction of REDI-Funded Floodwall in Wayne County

$400,000 Awarded to Town of Ontario to Protect Wastewater Pump Station from Flooding

Project Grant Awarded by Governor Cuomo's Resiliency and Economic Development Initiative

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) today announced the start of construction of a floodwall system to protect the Ontario Main Wastewater Pumping Station (WWPS) from flooding, the first of two Resiliency and Economic Development Initiative (REDI) projects awarded to the town of Ontario. The Wayne County REDI project will protect public health by mitigating the risk of flooding and the potential for related sewage overflows at the Ontario Main WWPS, which services wastewater for 6,000 residents, local businesses, and the neighboring Robert Emmett Ginna Nuclear Power Plant.

DEC Commissioner and REDI Commission Co-Chair Basil Seggos said, "Increased fluctuation in water levels on Lake Ontario have threatened critical infrastructure, particularly wastewater treatment facilities in communities along the shoreline. Through the Resiliency and Economic Development Initiative, New York State agencies are working collaboratively with communities to identify, reimagine, and rebuild at-risk assets. Through these investments, New York State is strengthening local economies, protecting public health, improving habitat, and safeguarding vital infrastructure. DEC is proud to work with the town of Ontario to advance projects that support this community's preparedness for future flooding events."

Construction will focus on the long-term protection of the town's infrastructure through the installation of a floodwall system designed to protect the WWPS and standby generator against rising floodwaters, minimizing damage to the pumps and generator, and reducing the risk of complete system failure. $400,000 was awarded to the town of Ontario by the REDI Commission for this project.

Dormitory Authority of the State of New York (DASNY) President and CEO Reuben R. McDaniel, III, said, "This project to protect Ontario's Wastewater Pumping Station from flooding is absolutely critical for securing the town's future and the health and safety of its residents. DASNY is proud to support Governor Cuomo's vision for strengthening upstate communities and ensuring that essential services are fortified against potential weather damage."

NYS Homes and Community Renewal Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas said, "The State's $400,000 investment in the town of Ontario will ensure that the essential wastewater system remains intact and operational during future storm events. This project, along with others awarded through the Governor's REDI Commission, are community-driven solutions that will enhance the long-term resiliency of homes, businesses and critical infrastructure in flood-prone regions along the Lake Ontario and St. Lawrence River shorelines. As we continue to bolster flood recovery efforts, we remain committed to building back better and smarter."

Environmental Facilities Corporation (EFC) President and CEO Joseph Rabito said, "Protecting critical infrastructure is one of the keys to the continued resiliency of communities along the Lake Ontario shoreline. By providing grant funding for the floodwall as part of the REDI program, EFC can help the Town of Ontario protect the quality of its water and the health of residents when rising water threatens to overwhelm the existing wastewater pumping station."

Senator Pam Helming said, "These wastewater infrastructure improvements are critical to protect residents from flooding and maintain continuous, quality service to homeowners and businesses in the Town of Ontario. My thanks to the Town of Ontario, New York State and the REDI Commission for working together to protect and strengthen the local infrastructure that is vital to the stability and growth of our communities."

Assemblyman Brian Manktelow said, "Any time we have shovels in the ground on regional projects there is a cause for celebration. By adding additional flood protection measures, this project will mitigate the risk of disrupting the services of the wastewater service station. The residents, and businesses of the Town, as well as the Gina Nuclear Power Plant will have another line of protection from any future flooding of Lake Ontario. I applaud the efforts of the DEC, REDI, Town of Ontario Supervisor Robusto, the Town Board, and all those involved for their efforts in this project and thank you for your commitment to our region."

Wayne County Chairman Kenneth Miller said, "Wayne county recognizes that the lake level could continue to cause potential problems for our shoreline towns. The county encourages both private and municipal REDI projects to move forward and we are pleased to see any programs that will strengthen our local infrastructure."

Town of Ontario Supervisor Frank Robusto said, "We are thankful to Governor Cuomo and the REDI Commission for recognizing the need to fortify critical infrastructure in the Town of Ontario. Through the partnership with New York State, we will be able to install flood protection around the Ontario Main Wastewater Pump Station, ensuring uninterrupted service to our residents and business community."

As part of the State's ongoing response to record flooding that hit the Lake Ontario and St. Lawrence River shoreline communities during spring and summer 2019, Governor Cuomo created the REDI commission, a multi-agency team tasked with studying sustainable solutions to strengthen infrastructure and mitigate impacts from future flooding along the shorelines of Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River, while bolstering the region's local economies.

Through REDI, the State has committed up to $300 million to rebuild the shoreline, as well as improve resiliency in flood-prone regions along Lake Ontario. The REDI Commission allocated $20 million for homeowner assistance, $30 million to improve the resiliency of businesses, and $15 million toward a regional dredging effort that will benefit each of the eight counties. The remaining balance, $235 million, has been allocated toward local and regional projects that advance and exemplify the REDI mission.

For additional information, project profiles and REDI news, visit the Lake Ontario Resiliency and Economic Development Initiative (REDI) website.

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