GOVERNOR PATAKI SIGNS BILL ALLOWING PRIVATIZATION
OF ORANGE COUNTY SEWAGE TREATMENT PLANT
Sept. 3, 1997

STATE OF NEW YORK
EXECUTIVE CHAMBER
GEORGE E. PATAKI, GOVERNOR

At a ceremony today beside the Harriman Sewage Treatment Plant in Orange County, Governor George E. Pataki today signed legislation allowing Orange County to privatize sewage treatment facilities at local option The bill will give Orange County residents important new choices in dealing with the County's over-loaded sewage system.

“This legislation builds on our commitment to privatize water and wastewater systems, but more importantly it allows Orange County residents the ability to safely expand their sewage system and meet the needs of a growing population and economy,” Governor Pataki said.

“Thanks to the tireless work of Senator Larkin, County Executive Rampe, the Water Industry Council, the Privatization Committee of the State Bar and the New York State Council on Privatization, Orange County residents will benefit from one of the state’s most innovative public-private sector partnerships, allowing the County to safely expand its waste water treatment facilities,” the Governor said.

This legislation is a step toward creating the public-private partnership necessary to build and upgrade the drinking water and sewage treatment plants in New York State.

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In many instances, this can also be done more cost effectively and quickly than if the task was left solely to the public sector.

Specifically, the bill allows county sewer districts in Orange County, to enter into contracts, leases. Rental or management agreements with any private entity for up to 25 years for the design, construction, financing, operation, maintenance, use of sewage and wastewater treatment and collection facilities, subject to the approval of the Orange County Legislature.

Orange County’s Sewer District Number 1 has reached its operating capacity and is not able to accept any additional flow. resulting in a moratorium on additional hook-ups to the District. In response to the moratorium, many small septic-type systems have materialized throughout the sewer district. In addition, a lawsuit successfully challenged the ban on new hook-ups leaving Orange County in the unenviable position of having to accept additional sewage flow without the capacity needed to handle it.

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