(WETM) – Two local towns are receiving Engineering Planning Grants to help improve their water quality.

Engineering Planning Grants help the communities afford and start the critical planning process so they can be better prepared to seek financing to help them complete their water infrastructure projects.

In Steuben County, the Town of Wayland is receiving $30,000 to evaluate the feasibility of constructing a new central wastewater collection system to serve the Loon Lake area and evaluate collection and treatment alternatives.

The Town of Dresden in Yates County is also receiving $30,000 to assess the existing condition of the wastewater collection system within Sewer District No. 1, evaluate alternatives, and recommend improvements.

The two grants are part of a $23 million grant announcement by Governor Kathy Hochul to help improve water quality across New York State while mitigating the effects of climate change.

Through the New York State Environmental Facilities Corporation’s Green Innovation Grant Program, $20.8 million is being awarded to 17 projects that incorporate green storm water infrastructure, as well as implement energy and water efficiency measures. An additional $2.5 million in Engineering Planning Grants will help jumpstart planning for 56 water infrastructure projects. The funding is part of the $750 million announced for Round XI of the Governor’s Regional Economic Development Council initiative. Of the 17 Green Innovation Grant Program projects, 13 projects worth $17.9 million will impact Environmental Justice Communities.

“To improve water quality for communities across New York, we must take action to ensure the resiliency of our infrastructure,” Governor Hochul said. “These grants remove the financial barriers for local governments to invest in critical water infrastructure projects. New York will continue to prioritize funding for low-income communities and expand access to clean water, supporting our state’s economic growth and improving public health.”

Engineering Planning Grants have helped municipalities across the state complete 350 engineering reports since the program’s inception in 2012.