Friday, February 18, 2011

New York City Leads the Way with Green Infrastructure Grant Program to Reduce Stormwater Pollution

The New York City Department of Environment Protection (NYCDEP) has launched its Green Infrastructure Grant Program, with up to $3 million available for green infrastructure projects within Combine Sewer Overflows (CSO) drainage areas. These grants are for businesses, private owners, or 501c3 non-profits to reduce and manage stormwater from private property and adjacent public sidewalks. A workshop will be held on Feb 28. For further information and application form, click on NYCDEP’s page here.

Green Infrastructure projects include everything from rain gardens to constructed wetlands, green roofs, infiltration bioswales and trenches, permeable pavers or pavement, and rain barrels and cisterns.  Green infrastructure uses vegetation or other devices to slow the flow of rain water and reduce the volume of stormwater.  This reduction is cost-effective and critical in areas with CSOs, because stormwater can overwhelm the sewer system causing both untreated sewage and street debris to be discharged into coastal waters.

COA encourages the New Jersey metropolitan areas with CSO drainage on the Hudson Estuary to follow NYC lead and invest in green infrastructure.  We’d also like to see New York use containment devices on CSO’s to reduce the amount of street litter entering waterways similar to what is done in New Jersey.

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