Will Clean Water Infrastructure Act Funding Be Included in State Budget?

ALBANY, N.Y. -- Travel around the Capital Region and water infrastructure issues are easy to spot.

In Albany, a sinkhole swallowed an SUV after a pipe burst. In Amsterdam, a pipe leaked thousands of gallons of sewage into the Mohawk River. And in Hoosick Falls, residents discovered a cancer causing contaminant in their public drinking water.

"You don't realize until you have a contamination issue how much you interact with water throughout the day and how much your life is altered when you have to do things differently," said Hoosick Falls resident Michelle O'Leary.

O'Leary is a mom who has been fighting for transparency about how PFOA ended up in the water. She and several other residents signed a letter asking to see what Saint Gobain and Honeywell handed over following the state hearings.

Environmental advocate Liz Moran is fighting right along with O'Leary.

"They've been drinking polluted water for a very long time, and they just want to see if they can get some answers. They've had a hard time with that," said Moran.

Although the fighting in Hoosick Falls continues, O'Leary feels her community helped spread more attention to water infrastructure problems across the state. She hopes the proposed $2 billion could mean other communities don't have to fight as hard to get help.

"We would feel thrilled," said O'Leary. "We'd be happy and glad that we were able to help in some way."

Governor Andrew Cuomo has said some of the $2 billion would go toward cleaning up rivers, filtration systems to treat regulated and unregulated contaminants, and more money for the state Superfund. The $2 billion would be spread out over the course of 5 years.

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