Schumer calls water main break a "wake-up call"

Schumer calls water main break a "wake-up call"
Posted at 3:57 PM, Jul 21, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-21 17:36:06-04

After Wednesday's water main break, Senator Charles Schumer says Erie County needs federal attention to fix aging infrastructure.

Schumer said he will work with Erie County Water Authority (ECWA) and other municipal water providers to pursue any available federal funds to help Erie County upgrade water and sewer infrastructure.

"If the major water main break in Norther Erie County last night wasn't a wake-up call that our infrastructure is falling apart, then I don't know what is," said Schumer. "It is simply unacceptable that in the 21st century, New Yorkers have to boil their water before drinking."

Schumer is working with the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) and the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) to regain access to clean water in Erie County.

The New York Senator has already been successful in getting almost $1 million in federal funding to repair aging water systems in the Town of Westfield where frequen water line breaks and boil water orders were issued.

While there is significant federal funding available to make urgent repairs to Erie County water mains, Schumer says more must be done to improve investment in water and sewer infrastructure. He introduced the True LEADership Act to provide a $6 billion increase in CWSRF and DWSRF overtime over the next five years, pushing for as much of that money as possible to be given to Upstate communities in the form of direct grant dollars.

Schumer is also an advocate for taxing overseas income earned by large companies to support direct investment in infrastructure, to simultaneously reduce water main breaks, like the one in Erie County, and create jobs.