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In an effort to address a long-standing environmental justice issue, County Executive George Latimer, Congressman Jamaal Bowman and County Legislator Jose Alvarado are teaming up to advocate for federal funding to support long term infrastructural repairs to the Yonkers Westchester County Wastewater Treatment Plant’s odor insulation. 

Latimer said: “This is our best chance to right this long-standing environmental justice wrong. Folks in this community, predominately people of color, have faced these odor issues impacting their quality of life for years. Together, with my partners in government Congressman Bowman and Legislator Alvarado, we are focused on remedying them. As President Biden aims to rebuild America’s infrastructure, we emphatically appeal for the inclusion of this project.”

The Yonkers Wastewater Treatment Plant on the city’s west side services approximately 500,000 Westchester residents and filters over a million gallons of waste each day. However, Ludlow Park area residents and neighboring municipalities have reported smelling noxious odors emanating from the plant due to aging scrubbers and poor facility insulation.

Bowman said: “Robust federal funding for wastewater infrastructure must be a top priority of the Biden administration and the Build Back Better agenda, and I’m proud to stand with County Executive Latimer and County Legislator Alvarado to advocate for that. Repairing the Yonkers Westchester County Wastewater Treatment Plant is crucial to our collective mission of racial and environmental justice, and I’m looking forward to continuing our work to achieve the level of investment our constituents deserve.”

Alvarado said: “It is our responsibility to ensure that residents living around this facility get the quality of life they deserve. It is a matter of environmental justice for the residents of Southwest Yonkers. At the Board of Legislators, we've worked with County Executive Latimer over the past 18-months to advance important County work at the plant -- approving odor control projects and modernization of the plant's operations and equipment. I'm proud of that work, but we need to do more. That's why I stand with County Executive Latimer and Congressman Bowman in advocating for this federal funding to finally cover this plant, like all other sewage treatment plants in the County.  I know the Biden Administration is committed to environmental justice, and I look forward to working together with the Congressman and County Executive to urge the Biden Administration to help us do everything we can to improve life for our community.”

In response to these issues, the County sponsored an odor control study by CDM Smith completed in June 2019. Based on the findings of this report, the County would benefit from $69.1 million in federal funding to address long term infrastructural repairs to the plant’s odor insulation.

As the Biden administration has prioritized addressing the intrinsic impacts of environmental justice, investment in this project will improve the quality of life for Yonkers’s predominantly Black and Hispanic middle-class communities living on the city’s west side.