- LTE: Fix Pipes for Sake of Health and Safety

This LTE was published in the Glens Falls Post Star on June 18, 2017.  

                                                  Fix Pipes for Sake of Health and Safety

Million Dollar Beach is caught up in a cycle of closures due to the overflow of untreated sewage into Lake George after heavy rains. The “No Swimming” alert for parts of Lake George is always an unwelcome sign because it means three things: 

  1. The water can make people sick. 
  2. It will drive away tourism.
  3. That Gov. Cuomo and state legislators, like Sen. Betty Little and Assemblyman Dan Stec, need to continue to prioritize investments in the state’s clean water infrastructure, as needs have ballooned to more than $80 billion following decades of disinvestment.

In 2015, Environmental Advocates launched our #FixOurPipes campaign, because no New Yorker should live in fear of the water they drink, swim in or fish from. This past winter, we worked with local officials and experts from Saranac Lake, Troy and Amsterdam to draw attention to New York’s grossly outdated and failing infrastructure. We’re proud to have secured a $1 billion investment in water infrastructure grants, to be spent over several years, and applaud the governor and legislators for bringing clean water issues to the table.

Still, even with community leaders statewide doing the absolute best they can, water main breaks and raw sewage contamination happen regularly, placing us, our environment and our economy at risk.

In order to keep our water clean, safe and attractive to tourists who our economy depends on, New Yorkers need the state to invest at least $800 million annually in our water infrastructure.

There are a million reasons to fix our pipes. A clean and safe Million Dollar Beach is one of them.

Elizabeth Moran is water and natural resources associate at Environmental Advocates of New York.