New York State is starting its $75 million program to replace aging septic systems in 31 priority counties.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Thursday that the first $15 million will be shared in the program's initial year. The Democrat said the state Departments of Environmental Conservation and Health and the Environmental Facilities Corporation have identified locations where system upgrades will protect the water quality and help reduce harmful algal blooms and beach closures.
Funding for the multiyear effort was established last year. It provides funds to counties to eligible reimburse property owners for part of the cost of replacing crumbling septic systems with more environmentally effective systems.
The governor said funding this year was based upon population density and proximity of septic systems to drinking water sources. In Western New York, $75,000 each is being made available to Cattaraugus County's Allegany River/Reservoir and Wyoming County's Silver and Java Lakes, while $150,000 each is going to Chautauaqua's Findley Lake and Genesee's Bigelow Creek and tributaries.