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For Release: Thursday, October 21, 2021

DEC and Village of Union Springs Announce Acquisition of 1.4 Acres on Cayuga Lake to Protect Water Quality

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and village of Union Springs today announced the acquisition of a critical 1.4-acre parcel in Cayuga County. The parcel will help protect Cayuga Lake's public water supplies, which serve more than 9,000 households. The acquisition was supported by a $259,600 Water Quality Improvement Project (WQIP) grant from DEC that targets the protection of source waters.

"New York's Water Quality Improvement Project investments are further proof of the State's sustained efforts to prioritize protecting clean drinking water," DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said. "By working with partners like the village of Union Springs, DEC is safeguarding public health and the environment while ensuring a healthier lake and healthier communities. "

"The Village of Union Springs is excited about the completion of the water remediation project, " Village of Union Springs Mayor Bud Shattuck said. "It is the only major stream that goes through the Village and buffers the properties between Frontenac Park and our local private marina. In cooperation with the New York State DEC, it enables the Village to enhance the water quality of Cayuga Lake. As New York State DOS recently approved our Local Waterfront Revitalization Program, the Village is committed to water quality in our streams and especially in Cayuga Lake."

Albeit small in size, this critical parcel adds to the growing number of lands acquired to protect the lake. A stream runs through this lakefront property and empties into Cayuga Lake. The property will be mowed to allow for natural vegetation to grow, establishing a riparian buffer for both the lake and stream to protect the lake's water quality. In addition, the village will remove an existing structure on the parcel and prevent potentially harmful development and associated pollutants from entering the lake.

No-Cost Technical Assistance to Protect Drinking Water

DEC and the New York State Department of Health (DOH) recently announced an initiative to assist municipalities with developing and supporting drinking water source protection programs, the Drinking Water Source Protection Program (DWSP2). Communities interested in working with a technical assistance provider, at no cost, to develop a DWSP2 plan for their source of drinking water are encouraged to visit the DWSP2 webpage and complete an application online (PDF).

New York's Commitment to Clean Water

New York continues to increase investments for clean water infrastructure projects, including the State's unprecedented $4 billion commitment to ensure that all New Yorkers have access to clean water. As part of the State's Environmental Protection Fund, the WQIP supports projects to improve water quality, reduce the potential for harmful algal blooms (HABs), and protect drinking water across the state. DEC has announced more than $37 million for 37 land acquisition projects to date. In addition to land acquisition projects for source water protection, WQIP grants are awarded for municipal wastewater treatment, nonagricultural nonpoint source abatement and control, salt storage, and aquatic habitat restoration.

Governor Kathy Hochul recently announced the availability of $600 million to communities statewide (leaves DEC's website) through the Water Infrastructure Improvement Act (WIIA), WQIP, and Intermunicipal Grant (IMG) programs to fund projects to upgrade infrastructure and make communities more resilient to flooding and other impacts of climate-driven severe storms and weather events.

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