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WHAT IS GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE ? Khris Dodson, Environmental Finance Center November 17, 2010.

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Presentation on theme: "WHAT IS GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE ? Khris Dodson, Environmental Finance Center November 17, 2010."— Presentation transcript:

1 WHAT IS GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE ? Khris Dodson, Environmental Finance Center November 17, 2010

2 Why use Green Infrastructure? Stormwater/combined sewer benefits  Eliminates pollutants at the source  Reduces discharge volumes to creeks, rivers, lakes, and Wastewater Treatment Facilities  Reduces flooding Provides other benefits to the community & environment  Reduces consumption, Gray O&M costs, energy and heat island effects  Improves neighborhood aesthetics, habitat, biodiversity, and air quality  Can be less disruptive than large Gray Infrastructure projects  Green Infrastructure is often more cost-effective than Gray Infrastructure

3 Jennifer Molloy, USEPA, 2009

4 Water Quality Suffers 80% of pollution to the aquatic environment comes from land-based sources, such as runoff pollution. New York has identified nonpoint sources as the primary cause of water quality problems in 91% of its priority waterbodies Once a watershed’s impervious cover exceeds 20%, water quality suffers

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6 Combined Sewer Overflows  In 1994, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) adopted a Combined Sewer Overflow Control Policy designed to reduce and eliminate combined sewer overflows nationwide. The purpose of the CSO Control Policy was to elaborate on the 1989 EPA CSO Control Strategy and to facilitate compliance with Clean Water Act (CWA) requirements.  The three objectives of the 1989 CSO Control Strategy are: Ensure that if CSOs occur, they are only as a result of wet weather. Bring all wet weather CSO discharge points into compliance with the technology- based and water-quality-based requirements of the CWA. Minimize the impacts of CSOs on water quality, aquatic biota and human health.

7 Combined Sewer Interceptor Sewer to Wastewater Treatment Facility Sanitary Sewer Creek Dry Weather Flow During dry weather, sanitary flows are collected in combined sewers for treatment at Wastewater treatment facilities Catch Basin

8 During wet weather, inflows exceed the collection system’s capacity and trigger a CSO Combined Sewer Interceptor Sewer to Wastewater Treatment Facility Sanitary Sewer Creek Catch Basin Combined Sewer Overflow Stormwater Runoff Roof Leaders

9 Green solutions intercept and reduce stormwater flows to sewers, providing storage, infiltration, and treatment Vegetated Swale Combined Sewer Interceptor Sewer to Wastewater Treatment Facility Sanitary Sewer Creek Dry Weather Flow Porous Roadway Stormwater Runoff Roof Leader

10 Paradigm Shift:  Rain is a Resource!  Shift from the curb, gutter and big basin approach to the way mother nature would manage stormwater  Region or watershed  Neighborhood  Site

11 From Traditional to Integrated Drainage Systems Reactive (solve problems) Engineer-driven Protect property Pipe and Convey Limited Community consultation Local Government Ownership Extreme Storm Focus Peak Flow Thinking! Ecosystems Proactive (prevent problems) Interdisciplinary Team-driven Protect Property and Habitat Mimic Natural Processes Extensive Consultation Partnerships with Others Rainwater Integrated with Land Use Volume-based Thinking! TraditionalIntegrated

12 Integrated Design  Integration of seemingly unrelated aspects of building design and/or construction  Key: Collaboration of people from different disciplines throughout the design process  Goal: to achieve high performance and multiple benefits What if we looked at Stormwater Planning through this lens?

13 Green Infrastructure improves:  Water quality  Air quality  Neighborhood aesthetics  Habitat and biodiversity  Recreational and transportation opportunities  Property values  Community health and vitality

14 Green infrastructure reduces….  Flooding  Erosion  Stormwater runoff volume  Stormwater pollutant loadings  CSOs  Gray infrastructure operation, maintenance, energy and treatment costs

15 Water pillow Green Wall

16 Rain Gardens Bioswales Rain Barrels

17 Green Roofs Walters Hall, SUNY ESF

18 Jamesville Correctional Facility

19 Porous Pavements New porous parking lot at Dunbar Center in Syracuse

20 Sidewalk at MOST in Syracuse

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23 Bringing people together…

24 Want to know more?  US EPA’s Green Infrastructure website:  NYS Department of Environmental Protection:  Save the Rain Website: Center for Watershed Protection:

25 Contact me: Khris Dodson Communications and Program Manager Environmental Finance Center


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