A report from Moody's last week cheered the state's Environmental Facilities Corporation for making $416 million available for capital projects and water infrastructure, pointing to the affect the move will have on low-income communities.
All told, the move is expected to save local governments that benefit from the program $700 million in principal and interest payments.
Local governments around New York are contending with so-called "emerging contaminants" like 1,4 dioxane, which requires specialized technology to remove it from water systems. About a quarter of the $1.6 billion in water infrastructure projects in New York are eligible for the EFC grants.
But some areas will be eligible for more projects than others to receive the money, especially in the Southern Tier region.
"The moves by New York are important environmentally because they address essential drinking water issues in many communities," Moody's found.
"By providing deeper subsidies to less wealthy municipalities, they also mitigate social risk for communities that face a heightened risk of water contamination because they are less able to invest in state-of-the-art treatment. Addressing these issues reduces the likelihood of out-migration from municipalities and consequent tax base contraction."