Assembly Announces $400 Million for Environmental Protection Fund in SFY 2024-25 Budget

Enacted Budget Includes $500 Million for Water Infrastructure

Speaker Carl Heastie and Environmental Conservation Committee Chair Deborah J. Glick today announced that the Enacted State Fiscal Year (SFY) 2024-25 Budget invests $2.5 billion in funding for the environment, including $400 million for the New York State Environmental Protection Fund (EPF).

“Safeguarding the environmental health and natural resources of our state remains a vital priority for the Assembly Majority,” said Speaker Heastie. “The investments in this budget will continue to support the vital initiatives and programs that protect our ecosystems, mitigate pollution and keep our water safe to drink.”

“Protecting the environment is not only a matter of public health and safety but also about economic vitality,” said Assemblymember Glick. “This budget reflects a continued commitment to reducing air and water contamination, promoting ecological sustainability and preparing responsibly for the challenges of climate change.”

The budget also allocates $500 million to support New York’s clean water infrastructure under the Clean Water Infrastructure Act (CWIA).

In 2015, the Assembly Majority spearheaded the effort to pass the Water Infrastructure Improvement Act (WIIA) to provide municipalities assistance in funding water quality infrastructure projects through a series of grant programs with $2.4 billion awarded over the last nine years. In 2017, the Assembly expanded its efforts through the CWIA and has since provided $5.5 billion for clean water projects across the state including the $500 million allocated in the Enacted SFY 2024-25 Budget. These proposals were originally championed by Assemblymembers Steve Otis and John McDonald, both former mayors, and advocates for addressing municipal infrastructure costs.

“In this budget, we continue New York’s nation-leading commitment to funding local clean water projects,” said Assemblymember Otis. “Our array of grant programs ensures that we can continue progress on important water quality projects without overburdening local budgets and property taxpayers. The Assembly has been at the forefront in supporting these programs.

“As a former mayor, I understand the impact this funding has on overextended local governments,” said Assemblymember McDonald. “This money provides local municipalities the opportunity to rebuild their water infrastructure and provide clean drinking water for generations of residents.”

Funding for The Environmental Protection Fund (EPF) provides the following:

  • $47 million for Public Access & Stewardship, including $10 million for Adirondack and Catskill visitor safety and wilderness protection;
  • $39.5 million for land acquisition;
  • $26 million for municipal parks;
  • $22.5 million for the Oceans and Great Lakes Initiative;
  • $22.25 million for the Water Quality Improvement Program;
  • $21 million for farmland protection;
  • $20 million for Zoos, Botanical Gardens, and Aquaria (ZBGA);
  • $19 million for municipal recycling; 
  • $18.5 million to combat invasive species;
  • $17.25 million for Soil & Water Conservation Districts;
  • $15.25 million for Climate Resilient Farms Program;
  • $14.3 million for waterfront revitalization;
  • $13 million for environmental justice; and
  • $3.5 million for the Finger Lakes Lake Ontario Protection Alliance.

The Enacted Budget also establishes a fund to support air quality improvement projects in communities where the air quality exceeds federal ozone levels. Funds spent will be allocated to disadvantaged communities proportional to the percentage they represent within the overall communities the projects will serve.