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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 16-42

May 16, 2016

Contact:

deppressoffice@dep.nyc.gov (718) 595-6600

Green Project Funding Available for Non-Profits, Institutions and Other Private Property Owners

Brooklyn Grange/ Brooklyn Navy Yard 3

DEP Staff will be Available to Answer Questions and Help Guide Applicants Through the Process During May 25 Workshop

Green Infrastructure Improves the Health of Local Waterways and Helps to Clean the Air – Pictures of Completed Projects are Available on DEP’s Flickr Page

The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) today joined with elected officials and environmental groups to encourage non-profits, institutions and other private property owners to apply for funding that is available for stormwater projects through the Green Infrastructure Grant Program. DEP is engaged in a city-wide effort to soften the impervious urban landscape and help absorb rainwater that would otherwise drain into the combined sewer system and contribute to sewer overflows into local waterways. The Grant Program provides funding for stormwater management projects, also called green infrastructure, such as rain gardens, permeable pavements, and green roofs on private property. DEP will host a workshop on May 25 at Civic Hall, located at 156 5th Avenue in Manhattan, to explain the eligibility requirements and the application process. Over the last several years, DEP has committed more than $13 million to fund 31 different projects with private property owners, who have contributed nearly $6 million in matching funds. More information and the application can be found on the DEP website.

“Building green infrastructure that will naturally collect stormwater is one of the most direct ways New Yorkers can help improve our environment, and we’ll pay for the work,” said DEP Acting Commissioner Steven Lawitts. “Green infrastructure projects also help to clean the air, provide shade in the summer and make neighborhoods more livable.”

Council Member Costa Constantinides, Chair of the Council Environmental Protection Committee, said, “Green infrastructure projects like green roofs and permeable pavements are steps that we can take to help improve our city’s waterways and reduce pollution. The Green Infrastructure Grant Program encourages private property owners to construct these types of projects on their properties. It will take the cooperation of everyone if we are to reach our goal of reducing carbon emissions 80% by 2050. I encourage property owners to apply for this grant and look forward to working with DEP and community stakeholders on this program.”

“Building green infrastructure to collect stormwater is one of the best ways to improve our environment and protect our watersheds,” said City Council Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer. “I applaud the DEP for their Green Infrastructure Grant Program to help fund these important projects, and I encourage property owners along Newtown Creek to apply for this funding. By proactively investing in green infrastructure to collect storm water, we can help clean up Newtown Creek now and for generations to come.”

Council Member Julissa Ferreras-Copeland (D-21), Chair of the Finance Committee, said, “The DEP’s green project funding will go a long way in helping mitigate sewer overflows in East Elmhurst and the surrounding areas near Flushing Bay. I encourage private property owners across Queens to take advantage of this opportunity that will help manage stormwater and clean up our waterways all while beautifying homes at no cost to them.”

“NYC DEP’s program to fund new green infrastructure projects on privately-owned buildings will go a long way towards improving the waterways across NYC, especially the Gowanus Canal,” said Council Member Brad Lander. “The rain gardens, green roofs, and other creative green infrastructure projects this program will support will not only make our waterways clearer, but will make for greener, more livable neighborhoods. I highly encourage property owners throughout the Gowanus watershed, from to Park Slope to Carroll Gardens, and Prospect Heights to Boerum Hill, to take advantage of this excellent resource and do your part to improve water quality in Gowanus. Thank you to NYC DEP for making this resource available.”

“The Jamaica Bay Watershed is a vital part of what makes Southeast Queens a great attraction for nature-lovers and a safe haven for wildlife, but we need our local property owners and businesses to pitch in and do their part to help clean up the waterways and reduce flooding,” said Council Member Donovan Richards (D-Laurelton). “I would like to encourage all the property and business owners to apply for the Green Infrastructure Grant program and I would also like to thank the Department of Environmental Protection for committing to preserving the Jamaica Bay Watershed.”

“Most of my constituents are aware that Newtown Creek is polluted, but not everyone is aware that when it rains, diluted raw sewage can flow directly into the creek,” said Council Member Antonio Reynoso. “It’s important for residents in the watershed to know that they can make a difference by installing green infrastructure in and around their homes and businesses. This program is a great opportunity for property owners to add sustainable features and help address pollution from sewer overflows at the same time.”

“Green infrastructure will help clean our local waterways, lessen the burden on our sewer system and help improve air quality. I encourage my constituents and all New Yorkers to learn more about this great program through DEP and apply to do their part to help our environment,” said Council Member Andrew Cohen.

“The Bronx River Alliance encourages homeowners and businesses to invest in infrastructure that can both green and beautify their properties—and also improve water quality in the Bronx River,” said Linda R. Cox, Executive Director of the Bronx River Alliance.

All private property owners served by combined sewers in New York City are eligible to apply for a green infrastructure grant. Grant funding is provided for the design and construction of the projects that reduce or manage one inch of stormwater that falls on the selected properties. If selected, DEP will reimburse each Grantee for the design and construction costs for the green infrastructure project. Preference will be given to projects that are located in priority watersheds, are cost-effective, provide matching funds or other contributions, and include ancillary environmental and community benefits such as public access, increased awareness about stormwater management, and green jobs development. DEP will also accept requests for pre-application meetings with developers, professional designers, project teams or other organizations representing constituencies in real estate, business groups, or other large groups. To arrange a meeting with DEP engineers to discuss proposal specifics in advance of submitting an application, email gigrant@dep.nyc.gov.

Notable projects that have completed construction include a 43,400 square foot green roof at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, one of the nation’s first blue/green roof combinations at The Osborne Association in the Bronx, a green roof at Lenox Hill Neighborhood House in Manhattan, permeable pavers and rain gardens at Queens College, a New York Restoration Project community garden in Brooklyn’s Gowanus neighborhood, a communal backyard garden project at the Kelly Street development in the Bronx, and a green roof at Bishop Loughlin Memorial High School in Brooklyn.

DEP hosts quarterly workshops at Civic Hall, located at 156 5th Avenue in Manhattan, to explain the eligibility requirements and the application process. The next workshop will be held on May 25, at 3pm. To RSVP or to see dates and times of future workshops, go to the DEP website. Other Grant program specifics include:

  • The on-line application is available for anyone to review the criteria and grant requirements at any time.
  • Applications can be submitted at any time, year-round.
  • Once an application is submitted, applicants will be notified of receipt by DEP.
  • If the application is complete and satisfactory, DEP will contact the applicant with guidance for next steps in the form of the Grantee Guide.
  • If the application is not complete or satisfactory, DEP will provide comments and suggestions for the applicant so that the application can be resubmitted.

All successful grantees will continue to execute a funding agreement and declaration of restrictive covenant for each property.

DEP manages New York City’s water supply, providing more than one billion gallons of water each day to more than nine million residents, including eight million in New York City. The water is delivered from a watershed that extends more than 125 miles from the city, comprising 19 reservoirs and three controlled lakes. Approximately 7,000 miles of water mains, tunnels and aqueducts bring water to homes and businesses throughout the five boroughs, and 7,500 miles of sewer lines and 96 pump stations take wastewater to 14 in-city treatment plants. DEP has nearly 6,000 employees, including almost 1,000 in the upstate watershed. In addition, DEP has a robust capital program, with a planned $14 billion in investments over the next 10 years that will create up to 3,000 construction-related jobs per year. This capital program is responsible for critical projects like City Water Tunnel No. 3; the Staten Island Bluebelt program, an ecologically sound and cost-effective stormwater management system; the city’s Watershed Protection Program, which protects sensitive lands upstate near the city’s reservoirs in order to maintain their high water quality; and the installation of more than 820,000 Automated Meter Reading devices, which allow customers to track their daily water use, more easily manage their accounts, and be alerted to potential leaks on their properties. For more information, visit nyc.gov/dep, like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.

More Information

NYC Department of Environmental Protection
Public Affairs

59-17 Junction Boulevard
19th Floor
Flushing, NY 11373

(718) 595-6600