Clean Water East Hampton Program
Since its inception in 1999, the Peconic Bay Community Preservation Fund (CPF), a two-percent real estate transfer tax for land acquisition for open space, farmland, and historic preservation, as well as recreational purposes, has raised over $1 billion to protect over 10,000 acres of land on the East End of Long Island. In November 2016, a referendum was passed in the five east end towns of Long Island to extend the CPF through 2050 and to allow up to 20 percent of its proceeds to be used for water quality initiatives annually.
The primary purpose is to improve water quality and preserve community character by implementing best management practices, restoring degraded habitats, improving stormwater management techniques and upgrading conventional sanitary systems with innovative alternatives to reduce nitrogen loading within priority watersheds. The need for improvements stem from both the designated impairments in local watersheds and from local and regional initiatives to reduce pollutant inputs to our surface and groundwater. These initiatives emphasize the need for local management of target pollutants within the watersheds of East Hampton in order to improve water quality and restore beneficial uses.
The Town of East Hampton intends to use its CPF resources wisely and to systematically approach the nitrogen problem and other pollutants of concern in high priority areas by concentrating first on Reduction tactics (upgrading of systems to require treatment before disposal into the ground) and then considering Remediation (treatment in groundwater) and Restoration tactics (treatment in waterbody), where such projects are reviewed and found to be appropriate and cost effective. These components represent the best use of CPF funding to improve water quality in East Hampton. Funded projects will address existing sources of pollution and will not promote new development to achieve a net reduction in pollutants entering surface waters.
Components of Clean Water East Hampton include;
- The Town of East Hampton Septic Incentive Program
This program provides financial incentives up to $20,000 for residential and commercial property owners to upgrade their existing sanitary systems to innovative/alternative septic systems. Additional information and application guidance can be found under the Septic Incentive Program tab.
- Water Quality 'Request for Applications' (RFA) Grant Program
Through this program the Town is able to fund projects ranging from wastewater treatment improvement to abatement of pollutants from point and non-point sources, and aquatic habitat restoration. Applications will be considered twice a year by the town’s Water Quality Technical Advisory Committee and are then presented to the Town Board and the public through a public hearing prior to funding. Additional information about the most recent funding application notice and projects previously awarded can be found under the Water Quality Improvement Grant tab.
- East Hampton Town Water Quality Improvement Plan Projects
Following the adoption of the 2016 referendum which allows 20% of the Town's Community Preservation Fund proceeds, which come from a two-percent tax on real estate transfers, may be used for water quality projects; the Town prepared a Water Quality Improvement Plan (WQIP). The purpose of the WQIP is to outline the water quality improvement needs in the watersheds of the Town of East Hampton and to make specific recommendations for the use of CPF funding to effectively improve existing water quality caused by existing development and land use. These recommendations include a detailed list of priority projects that the Town is implementing throughout East Hampton. The Water Quality Improvement Plan can be downloaded from the Town Projects tab.