Construction of Historic Sewer Projects To Be Funded Completely With Federal and State Grant Funding
To find out if you live in one of the project areas, please click here to submit your information.
In 2014, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo announced state and federal post-Sandy resiliency funding would be made available through the Governor's Office of Storm Recovery (GOSR) to sewer communities in four river corridors in unsewered low-lying areas along Suffolk County's south shore that had been inundated by Superstorm Sandy.
At almost $390 million, the projects mark the largest investment in water quality infrastructure in the County in more than 40 years, and will eliminate nearly 7,000 cesspools and septic systems that have been identified as the single largest source of nitrogen pollution to our region's south shore bays. The extension of sewers to these areas will dramatically jump start a comprehensive effort to reduce nitrogen pollution that adversely affects coastal wetlands which protect communities from damaging storms, and are critical to the region's economic and environmental health.
The Suffolk County Coastal Resiliency Initiative is a one-in-a-lifetime opportunity to use federal and state grant funding to connect thousands of parcels to sewers.
The funding sources include: $243 million in Hazard Mitigation Grant Program funding through the Federal Emergency Management Agency, $67 million in Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, $59.7m from New York State Water Quality and Capital Programs, $20.3 million to be financed through low-interest loans from the Clean Water State Revolving Fund administered by the New York State Environmental Facilities Corporation, and $4 million from the Empire State Development grant program.
In the Fall of 2018, the Suffolk County Legislature approved the projects and paved the way for referenda in the Carlls River, Great River and Forge River project areas. On January 22, 2019, voters overwhelmingly approved projects in Carlls River and Forge River by 88% and 86%, respectively; the Great River project was defeated and will not move forward. Shortly following the vote, Governor Cuomo announced that the funding allocated for the Great River project would be redirected to Oakdale.
Project descriptions and additional information are provided below:
COVID-19 Delays Suffolk County Resiliency Initiative (SCCRI) Sewer Project
From social distancing to our economy, the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting our lives in countless ways. Here in Suffolk County, the virus is impacting our ability to deliver important infrastructure projects that will improve the quality of life in our communities. In particular, the planning for the Suffolk County Coastal Resiliency Initiative (SCCRI) sewer projects has suffered significant interruptions due to COVID-19. Project planning and implementation was pushed back in response to stay-at-home orders and restrictions on public gatherings. Accordingly, public meetings that were scheduled with property owners for March and April were required to be canceled, and have not yet been rescheduled. In addition, both Suffolk County and project design engineering firms were required to direct non-essential staff to remain at home, interrupting project-related activities.
These delays have the potential to affect the project’s funding. The projects are being funded by a combination of funding sources but primarily with Hurricane Sandy Community Development Block Grant—Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) and Hazard Mitigation Grand Program (HMGP) funding and are tied together and interdependent of each other with respect to utilization of funds. By law, the CDBG-DR funds must be used by September 9, 2022. Unfortunately, the delays caused by the COVID 19 pandemic have made it less likely that this deadline can be met, creating uncertainty about one of the key sources of grant funding that is making the sewer projects possible. It is critically important that the CDBG-DR funding be protected in order for these historic sewer projects to move forward.
Importantly, Suffolk County is only one of a number of municipalities, including many in other states, that face similar challenges as a result of COVID 19 delays. Critical infrastructure projects across the nation find themselves in the same situation. An article published recently in the New York Times highlighted the impacts on projects in multiple states that are funded by CDBG-DR funding and the threats to those projects caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Suffolk County officials and project stakeholders are working diligently to protect the CDBG-DR funding, which is making the SCCRI sewer projects, possible.
In late winter 2020, the County let bids for several of the SCCRI projects. The bids were due to be opened as Covid-19 impacted our region.
The ability to secure competitive pricing by the prospective bidders was impaired by Covid and the bid opening was extended. Once opened the competitive bids were in far excess of budgets for the projects. The County is working diligently to restructure the bids and plans to go out for a re-bid in early winter.
Project updates will continue to be provided as they are available, on this site.
Click here to see the full version of the Forge River Sewer Map
Forge River Watershed in Mastic, Town of Brookhaven: An estimated $191.3 million project would address storm impacts and reduce extensive nitrogen pollution to the Forge River and Great South Bay. The proposed project would: install sewers along Montauk Highway from William Floyd Parkway to the Forge River, install sewers in the residential area south of Montauk Highway west of Forge River. A total of 1,879 residential units and 154 businesses are expected to be connected to a new state-of-the-art treatment facility. Design is underway and construction is expected to begin in 2021.
For more information about the Forge River Project, click here.
Click here to see the full version of the Carlls River Area Map
Carlls River Watershed in North Babylon, West Babylon and Wyandanch, Town of Babylon: An estimated $140.2 million project would address storm impacts and reduce nitrogen and pathogen pollution in the Carlls River and Great South Bay. The proposed project would: install sewers in residential areas just west of Straight Path Road and also along Bay Shore Road and residential areas to the north. A total of 2,467 residential units are expected to be connected and to Suffolk County's Bergen Point Wastewater Treatment Plant. In addition, this project will connect 1,491 unconnected parcels already in the Southwest Sewer District. Design is underway and construction is expected to begin in 2020.
For more information about the Carlls River Project, click here.
Connetquot River Watershed in Great River, Town of Islip: On January 22, 2019, eligible voters in the Great River voted down the sewer project and as a result, the project will not move forward.
Connetquot River Watershed in Oakdale, Town of Islip: As a result of the defeat of the Great River project, funding for sewer connections has been reallocated to the Oakdale area. The project will connect approximately 420 parcels to Suffolk County's Bergen Point Wastewater Treatment Plant. Preliminary costs are estimated to be about $31m. Project boundaries and other details have not been finalized.
Patchogue River Watershed in the Village of Patchogue: An estimated $29.6 million project would be used to address nitrogen and pathogen pollution in Patchogue River, Patchogue Lake and the Great South Bay. The proposed project would: install sewers south of Main Street between West Avenue and South Ocean Avenue. A total of 513 residential units are expected to be connected to the Village of Patchogue wastewater treatment plant. Design is underway and construction is expected to begin in 2020.