Department of Environmental Conservation

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EEA Winners: State and Local Governments

New York City's Department of Administrative Services

Project: Fleet Sustainability Program

picture of NYPD fleet car

Year: 2014

Brief Description: New York City's (NYC) Department of Administrative Services Fleet Sustainability Program offers a cutting-edge model for sustainable fleet management. NYC operates the largest municipal fleet in the nation and through this multi-faceted program has achieved a 9.3% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. The Fleet Sustainability Program continues to demonstrate real-world fuel economy gains with hybrids, to test electric vehicle plug-ins in actual operational roles and confirm the viability of biodiesel blends across the widest variety of diesel equipment. The city is complementing their alternative fuel initiatives with innovative management strategies such as "right-sizing," fleet sharing, diesel exhaust retrofits and fuel management programs. This program is also advancing sustainable practices by publishing fleet procedures, assisting with drafting local laws and sharing information at forums, events and an annual Fleet Show. NYC is leading by example and has a wealth of knowledge to share with local and state governments, businesses and organizations striving to "green their fleet."

NYC's Administrative Services Detailed Case Study (PDF) (301 KB)

Suffolk County's Soil and Water Conservation District

Before and after picture of fuel tanks

Project: Agricultural Fuel Tank Replacement Program

Year: 2014

Brief Description: Suffolk County Soil and Water Conservation District's (SWCD) Fuel Tank Replacement Program demonstrates an innovative, sustainable, economically viable and socially acceptable solution to aging agricultural fuel tanks atop Long Island's sole source aquifer. Using data collected by the NYS's Agriculture Environmental Management Program, the SWCD identified that aging agriculture fuel storage tanks posed a threat to water quality to Long Island's sole source aquifer. It is one of the most productive aquifers in the United States, supplying drinking water to over 2.7 million people. Through a unique partnership, farmers were able to install new tanks that exceeded regulatory requirements at a reduced cost. Those who are participating in this proactive program are leading by example and setting a precedent for others to become good stewards of the environment.

Suffolk County's Soil & Water Conservation District Detailed Case Study (PDF) (370 KB)

Onondaga County

Project: Save the Rain Program

Picture of civic strip in downtown Syracuse

Year: 2013

Brief Description: Onondaga County was awarded for transforming the "civic strip" in downtown Syracuse into a green infrastructure corridor. Several marquee projects for the county's "Save the Rain" Program are located within the civic strip, including a 66,000-square-foot green roof, a water reuse cistern system, bioretention plantings, underground infiltration systems and porous pavement. Additionally, several green energy technologies have been incorporated, including LED lighting, solar-powered trash compactors and electric car charging stations.

Onondaga County Detailed Case Study (PDF) (260 KB)

Southampton Advocates for the Village Environment (SAVE)

Picture of plastic bags clinging to fence

Project: Reusable Shopping Bag Program

Year: 2013

Brief Description: Southampton Advocates for the Village Environment (SAVE) led an effort to enact the Reusable Shopping Bag Program - the first municipal program to prohibit single-use, plastic, grocery-sized shopping bags. The Village of Southampton has set an example for municipalities and businesses across New York State. This group led a successful campaign that enlisted support from retailers and the entire village community. Within the first year, Southampton's ordinance achieved a 98 percent compliance rate by retailers, restaurants and stores. This translates into the elimination of at least 110,000 plastic shopping bags on an annual basis. The streets and beaches of the Village of Southampton are no longer littered with plastic bags, and the quality of local marine waters has improved significantly.

SAVE Detailed Case Study (PDF) (288 KB)

Delaware County Soil and Water Conservation District

Project: Post-flood Emergency Stream Intervention Program

Picture of Flooding in Delaware County

Year: 2013

Brief Description: Delaware County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) developed and implemented the Post-Flood Emergency Stream Intervention Program. This critically needed, innovative and sustainable flood-response protocol and pre-flood training program provides well-defined practices and measurable standards for the period immediately following a flood. Municipalities using this new protocol have learned how to work with a stream's natural tendencies and post-flood responders have gained knowledge that will allow for environmentally and economically sound post-flood response. The Post-Flood Emergency Stream Intervention Protocol has gained broad acceptance by both municipalities and regulatory agencies. Using the protocol and training program, flood responders can now scientifically assess the need for intervention and perform work that protects aquatic resources. These same principles and methods are being applied to other municipal work in and around streams, such as bridge and culvert work.

Delaware County Soil & Water Conservation District Detailed Case Study (PDF) (220 KB)

Monroe County Crime Lab

Picture of Monroe County Crime Lab

Project: Sustainable Architecture and Design

Year: 2012

Brief Description: Monroe County's Crime Lab was recognized as the first building of its kind to earn a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Platinum Certification from the United States Green Building Council. Constructing the 45,000 square foot state-of-the-art criminology laboratory required intergovernmental collaboration and a shared commitment to sustainable building. In the lobby, visitors can view a continuous loop video on the sustainable design features of the building including: a rainwater harvesting system, roof-top photovoltaic panels, pervious concrete pavement, grass areas and rain gardens. Because the building is located on a previously contaminated site, it is a successful demonstration of brownfield redevelopment as well. The Monroe County Crime Lab sets example for other municipal governments striving for environmental excellence.

Monroe County Crime Lab Detailed Case Study (PDF) (357 KB)

City of Rome

Project: Canopy Restoration - Stormwater Management - Urban Renewal

Picture of City of Rome

Year: 2012

Brief Description: The City of Rome's Canopy Restoration Project inspired a new, city-wide approach to stormwater management. This project spurred adaptive reuse of vacant buildings, increased property values, reduced pollution and revitalized Rome's urban core. It was among the first green infrastructure projects to use a combination of a U.S.-made porous pavement and a locally developed sub-soil. As the scientific and environmental benefits of this comprehensive green infrastructure strategy became clear, the city planted 450 new trees in targeted low-to-moderate-income neighborhoods with high housing and population densities. The project significantly decreased stormwater runoff which, in turn, has decreased the amount of pollution entering the watershed. When fully mature, the trees will capture approximately 700,000 gallons of rainwater, remove close to 27,000 tons of carbon dioxide and 400 pounds of air pollutants. It is expected that homeowners and businesses will save nearly $32,000 in energy costs annually. This project serves as smart growth model for municipalities nationwide.

City of Rome Detailed Case Study (PDF) (249 KB)

Onondaga County Resource Recovery Agency

Before and After pictures for food waste composting

Project: Food Waste Composting Program

Year: 2011

Brief Description: Onondaga County Resource Recovery Agency (OCRRA) was honored for their municipal food waste composting program, which clearly demonstrates how a community can cost effectively capture the local organics stream and produce a sustainable product. By using an innovative composting technique, OCRRA composts food waste quickly, saving energy and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. This program diverted more than 2 million pounds of food waste and food process wastes from the waste stream in a single year. In addition, the partnership with Syracuse University adds nearly 7 tons per week of pre-consumer food waste from seven campus dining halls. In 2010, Syracuse University diverted over 137 tons of food waste from their waste stream, which saved more than $4,500 in tipping fees. This project serves as an environmentally sound, cost-effective model for municipalities nationwide. The program is generating jobs, reducing disposal costs and helping New York State achieve it's "beyond waste" goals and objectives.

Onondaga County Resource Recovery Detailed Case Study (PDF) (308 KB)

Town of Babylon

Project: Long Island Green Homes (LIGH)

Picture of Green Home

Year: 2010

Brief Description: The Long Island Green Homes (LIGH) Project is the first municipally administered and financed energy-efficient retrofit program in the nation. This innovative program began in 2008 and has resulted 600 whole-home energy retrofits. This translates into hundreds of homeowners reducing their monthly utility bills and carbon footprint by nearly 50 percent. The program includes an energy audit that gives homeowners a better understanding of possible energy-saving improvements. The program also provides a low interest financing option which means homeowners can pay for the energy efficiency improvements using their utility bill savings. The Town of Babylon conducts a training program that provides nearby environmental justice communities green job opportunities and a skilled workforce for the program's contractors. This program is a national and international model of excellence.

Town of Babylon Detailed Case Study (PDF) (277 KB)

Town of North Hempstead

Picture of Town of North Hempstead officials

Project: School Recycling Partnership Program

Year: 2009

Brief Description: The Town of North Hempstead partnered with public schools within the Town to implement a groundbreaking and comprehensive recycling program. At the time of the award, North Hempstead had established partnerships with 8 of the town's 11 school districts and had supplied every single classroom and office in each participating district with recycling bins. The town also committed to carting all the recyclables collected in a total of 44 buildings. With more than 28,000 students participating in 2009, the recycling program diverted 225 tons of paper and 54 tons of co-mingled recyclables from landfills and incinerators. The recycling partnership program is a model of environmental and economic success. Students became environmental stewards, taxpayers saved money and school districts received the benefit of a worthwhile service at no cost.

Town of North Hempstead Detailed Case Study (PDF) (418 KB)

Town of Islip

Project: Pump-out Boat Program

Picture of Islip boat

Year: 2009

Brief Description: Prior to the Town's pump-out boat program, there were only a few pump-out facilities available in the Great South Bay. Private marinas tend to service only their patrons, while public marinas often experience significant waiting times and frequent equipment failures. Considering these limitations, boaters often discharged boat sewage into the bay, resulting in shellfish contamination, beach closures and degraded water quality. The pump-out boat program assists boaters on an "as needed" basis without long wait times or fees. The program collected nearly 20,000 gallons of sewage in 2007 and more than 25,000 the following year. The Town of Islip's pump-out program offers a viable and cost-effective solution to a longstanding environmental problem in the Great South Bay, which was declared a "no discharge zone" by the United States Environmental Protection Agency.

Town of Islip Boat Pumpout Program Detailed Case Study (PDF) (291 KB)

Monroe County Department of Environmental Services

Picture of household pharmaceuticals

Project: Leading the Way - Household Pharmaceutical Waste Collections

Year: 2009

Brief Description: Monroe County stepped forward and took a leadership role in addressing household pharmaceutical waste in central/western New York. At the time of the award, pharmaceuticals were emerging as chemicals of concern in the nation's waterways. Monroe County demonstrated their commitment to environmental excellence in 2008 by holding the first of many pharmaceutical waste collection events in their region. These events called residents to action and resulted in the collection and proper disposal of more than 125 pounds of hazardous substances, 3,700 pounds of non-hazardous substances and 315 pounds of controlled substances. Based on their successes, Monroe County produced a valuable guidebook that provides instructions, plans and procedures for successful pharmaceutical collection events. This innovative tool has facilitated successful and ongoing collection efforts throughout New York which translates into healthier New York water resources.

Monroe Co. Dept. of Environmental Services Detailed Case Study (PDF) (206 KB)

Chemung County Soil and Water Conservation District and Southern Tier Central Regional Planning and Development Board

Project: Sustainable Stream Management Guide

Picture of Guide for Stream Processes

Year: 2008

Brief Description: The Chemung County Soil and Water Conservation District and the Southern Tier Central Regional Planning and Development Board worked together to produce an innovative and comprehensive guide entitled Stream Processes: A Guide to Living in Harmony with Streams. This guide describes how streams work and explains why functioning floodplains are important and should be protected in order to maintain a healthy stream system. It uses easy-to-understand language and pictures to educate about the consequences of poor stream management practices. The guide also provides success stories resulting from using the recommended practices. The reader also is provided information about permits and regulations that may apply to projects being planned in and around streams and floodplains. By using this guide, landowners, highway departments, farmers, loggers, watershed organizations, planning boards, developers, elected officials and others are able to make effective and sustainable land use and stream management decisions.

Stream Processes Detailed Case Study (PDF) (263 KB)

NYS Soil and Water Conservation Committee

Picture of agricultural lands

Project: Agricultural Environmental Management - Farming NY Cleaner and Greener

Year: 2008

Brief Description: New York State's Agricultural Environmental Management (AEM) Program serves as a national model of a voluntary, incentive-based approach to agricultural management. The AEM program successfully protects and enhances soil and water resources, while preserving the economic viability of a diverse agricultural community. AEM assists farmers in making practical, cost-effective decisions that result in the sustainable use of New York's natural resources. County Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCD) and other partners deliver information/education and technical assistance so that farmers are able to use cleaner and greener practices while competing in today's global market. As of the award, more than 10,000 New York State farm families were participating in New York's Agricultural Environmental Management (AEM) Program.

Agricultural Environmental Management Detailed Case Study (PDF) (297KB)

City of Kingston with Aslan Environmental

Project: Waste to Fertilizer - An Innovative Waste Management Project

Picture of plant digester

Year: 2008

Brief Description: The City of Kingston partnered with the Aslan Group to develop an innovative system for managing wastewater treatment plant wastes in an economical and environmentally sound manner. This innovative system captures biogas from the plant's digesters which fuels the processing of municipal wastewater sludge into a pelletized biosolid that meets U.S. Environmental Protection Agency standards. The pelleted material is available, free of charge, to local residents and businesses for lawn fertilizer or furnace fuel. This sustainable project is saving the facility money as they no longer pay to landfill their waste, has significantly reduced truck traffic which has had a positive effect on local air quality and prevents potential leachate from entering NYS waters.

City of Kingston and Aslan Group Detailed Case Study (PDF) (281 KB)

Gloversville-Johnstown Joint Sewer Board

Picture of anaerobic digester

Project: Wastewater Treatment Plant Anaerobic Digester Improvements

Year: 2007

Brief Description: Gloversville-Johnstown Joint Sewer Board was awarded for taking an innovative approach to a problem with an existing anaerobic digester cover at the Gloversville-Johnstown wastewater treatment plant. The facility treats domestic and industrial wastewater and was designed to use recovered biogas from its anaerobic digesters to fuel a heat and power system. When a floating cover of one of the digesters was found to be defective, the facility chose to convert it to a fixed cover. This was the first application of this technology in New York State. This sustainable solution resulted a significant reduction of fugitive greenhouse gas emissions, natural gas usage and less electricity purchased. The project serves as a model for treatment plants with aging anaerobic digesters and the value of capturing biogas rather than using virgin fuel sources.

Monroe County

Project: Stormwater Coalition

Picture of Stormwater Coalition Logo

Year: 2006

Brief Description: Monroe County Department of Environmental Services was honored for convening the Monroe County Stormwater Coalition. This creative and innovative partnership is comprised of 27 municipal separate storm sewer system operators. They work collaboratively to improve water quality in a cost-effective manner by developing model ordinances, correcting infrastructure problems and administering a multi-faceted education and training program. The Coalition members share resources and high-tech equipment which enables every municipality to make significant progress in its individualized plan to address stormwater pollution issues. At the time of the award, this outstanding coalition had diverted more than 7 million gallons of sanitary waste from flowing to the Genesee River, a major tributary to Lake Ontario. The Monroe County Stormwater Coalition serves as a successful model for establishing inter-municipal stormwater coalitions to more effectively address water quality concerns throughout New York State.

Town of Cortlandt

Pictuer of Town of Cortlandt sign

Project: Open Space Preservation

Year: 2006

Brief Description: The town of Cortlandt was honored for their leadership and innovative approach to open space preservation. The town took a holistic approach to land preservation with all regulatory boards working in cooperation. The town's multi-faceted approach to land preservation was grounded in the principles of smart growth planning, land acquisition and conservation easements. This effort resulted in more than a 100% increase in the amount of permanently preserved land in the town. One of the most impressive aspects of the project was the town's commitment to inter-municipal cooperation to develop the Croton-Highlands Biodiversity Plan. The plan analyzed and mapped biodiversity corridors and the importance of protecting them for habitat and improved passive recreational opportunities.

City of Glen Cove

Project: Water Treatment Plant Nutrient Reductions

Picture of Glen Cove

Year: 2005

Brief Description: The City of Glen Cove was honored for an innovative design at the city's existing water pollution control plant that discharges into a portion of the Long Island Sound. As a result of severe hypoxia conditions in the Sound, NYSDEC imposed nitrogen discharge limits. By taking an innovative approach, the city's treatment plant was able to accommodate the new discharge limit within the existing plant infrastructure. The project went well beyond the discharge limits as documented by monitoring data. Therefore, the City of Glen Cove had achieved nitrogen discharge reductions significantly greater than that required by the state. In fact, this project achieved the largest reduction of point source nitrogen loading to the Long Island Sound in Nassau County. Additional benefits included more flexible plant operations and a reduction in operating costs.

Battery Park City Authority

Picture of Battery Park City

Project: Local - Environmentally Friendly - High-Performance Construction Guidelines

Year: 2004

Brief Description: Battery Park City Authority (BPCA) was awarded for a multi-faceted effort that resulted in the development of cutting edge environmental guidelines, construction and maintenance of an innovative pocket park (Teardrop Park) and the construction of an outstanding high-performance building, the "Solaire." The environmental residential guidelines addressed five categories: energy efficiency, enhanced indoor environmental quality, conserving materials and resources, operations and maintenance, and water conservation and site management. Using these guidelines, developers have been improving overall building energy performance, reducing operating costs and addressing the environmental impact associated with energy consumption. These guidelines paved the way for the design and construction of the "Solaire" which was the first residential building in the United States that adhered to open space and green building requirements.


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