On May 2, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that $569 million in grants will be available to New York and New Jersey. The grants will aid the states in restoring water quality and enhancing flood protection, as well as repairing damages caused by Superstorm Sandy and improving resiliency at water and wastewater treatment facilities. EPA encourages applicants to use green infrastructure, such as wetlands and rain gardens, and renewable energy as backup power.
According to a Climate Central report on sewage overflows caused by Superstorm Sandy, 42 million m3 (11 billion gal) of untreated or partially treated sewage were discharged into northeastern U.S. waterbodies, a volume more than 50 times that of the British Petroleum Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
The funds, appropriated to EPA in the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act of 2013, will be distributed as Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving funds. New York will receive $340 million, while $229 million will be available for New Jersey. States can award up to 30% of the funds as community grants. States will use a priority ranking system to rate projects. After submission to EPA for approval, projects will be subject to a public comment period.