U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand today announced $1.6 billion in federal FEMA funding has been obligated for Nassau County’s Public Works Department and the Long Island Power Authority to recover from damages caused by Superstorm Sandy. This funding was previously committed to these entities, but the Senators said it is now out the door from the federal government. The Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) will receive $878,331,473 in federal funding for repairs to substations and electric distribution systems, meter replacement and infrastructure mitigation. The Nassau County Department of Public Works will receive $729,637,539 in federal funding for pilot projects and hazard mitigation efforts at Sandy-damaged sewage treatment operations across Nassau County, including Bay Park Sewage Treatment Plant, 32 damaged Sewage Pump Stations located throughout Nassau, including Lawrence Sewage Treatment Plant and Cedarhurst Sewage Treatment Plant. The funding is authorized through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)’s Public Assistance program. The funding was first announced in January and today’s announcement means the funding is finally out the door and has been obligated to both LIPA and Nassau County Department of Public Works.
Specifically, Bay Park’s pumping system was seriously damaged with 9 feet of flooding and closed for two days following the storm, impacting 550,000 residents. Floodwater-damaged elements of the treatment plant include: electrical distributions system, sludge dewatering equipment, satellite pump stations, main building raw sewage pumps, effluent screening and disinfection building, effluent pumping facility, miscellaneous facilities campus wide, final settling tank, fire protection building and gallery and utility tunnel restoration. Mitigation efforts will include building a dike, elevating the electrical distribution system and building a larger sewage collection line.
“This federal funding that we fought so hard to deliver is critical in ensuring Long Island is built back better and stronger after Sandy, and lightens the load for Long island taxpayers. I am pleased that over a billion dollar in Sandy funding is now out the door, with millions of dollars in federal funding for LIPA to help repair damaged infrastructure and move forward with mitigation efforts to protect from future storms, as well as millions of dollars in funding for Nassau County’s mitigation efforts at damaged sewage treatment plants like Bay Park. We all remember the environmental disaster at Bay Park following Superstorm Sandy, and this funding will help better protect our sewage treatment operations in the future,” said Senator Schumer.
“This is a major investment for Long Island’s recovery,” said Senator Gillibrand. “The devastation caused by Superstorm Sandy deeply impacted our communities and many of our families and businesses are still piecing their lives back together. This funding is great news for LIPA and the Nassau County Department of Public Works and is just what they need to rebuild and make crucial repairs and upgrades. These critical projects will help them both operate more efficiently, enhancing the quality of life for residents in the area and creating stronger infrastructure that can better withstand future storms.”
Federal funding for LIPA will be used for overhead electric distribution system repairs; off island crew support; substations; transmission and underground distribution system repairs; electric meter replacement and infrastructure mitigation.
Federal funding for the Nassau County Department of Public Works will be used for a capped alternative procedure pilot project for permanent work across a number of sewage conveyance and treatment operations that were damaged as a result of Superstorm Sandy. The funding will also aid in hazard mitigation efforts at the plants to protect against future flooding. The damaged operations include Bay Park Sewage Treatment Plant, 32 damaged Sewage Pump Stations located throughout the county, Lawrence Sewage Treatment Plant, Cedarhurst Sewage Treatment Plant, and Barnes Ave. Sewer Interceptor (mitigation only).