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Renewing Natural Processes in An Urban Area — An American Perspective Samuel H. Sage 1, Hongbin Gao 1 and Ping He 2 Atlantic States Legal Foundation 1.

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Presentation on theme: "Renewing Natural Processes in An Urban Area — An American Perspective Samuel H. Sage 1, Hongbin Gao 1 and Ping He 2 Atlantic States Legal Foundation 1."— Presentation transcript:

1 Renewing Natural Processes in An Urban Area — An American Perspective Samuel H. Sage 1, Hongbin Gao 1 and Ping He 2 Atlantic States Legal Foundation 1 (ASLF) and International Fund for China’s Environment 2 (IFCE) January 2012

2  ASLF ◦ Established in 1982 to provide affordable legal, technical and organizational assistance as a way to effectively remediate threats to the natural and built environment.  IFCE ◦ Founded in 1996 by a group of scientists and professionals concerned with China’s environmental problems, IFCE aims to ensure a healthy global environment and continued economic development by helping China solve its environmental problems. About 2 Organizations

3 Destruction of Natural Systems by Urbanization sprawl-in-united-states-eden-prairie-aerial-florida.jpg Urbanization Urban Sprawl

4 Destruction of Biodiversity in Urban Areas: Aquatic and Terrestrial

5 Replacement of Natives with Exotics and Invasives mons/5/51/Mainelupin.jpg yphyllus.JPG Lupinus perennisLupinus polyphyllus

6 Habitat Interruption: Fragmentation and Migration Routes Disruption Habitat Interruption: Fragmentation and Migration Routes Disruption The construction of the wall between Mexico and the US border may cause disappearance of 11 animal species with the interruption of their migration routes

7  Channelization  Filling wetlands  Diversion through turbine and dams  Withdrawal for agriculture, industry and human consumption  Indirect changes by cutting down trees Harbor Brook, Unchannelized Harbor Brook, Channelized

8  Contaminated discharge from industrial and municipal uses  Runoff and erosion  Air-deposition  CSO Unauthorized Industrial Discharge (unidentified location)

9 Onondaga Lake, Syracuse, New York, USA

10  1884 Solvay Process Co. opens its doors: begins making soda ash on southwestern shore  1896 Sewers built in city, backyard privies banned. Sewage flows directly into creeks  1897 Whitefish disappears from Onondaga Lake

11  1901 Ice harvesting banned for health reasons  1907 NYS Attorney General threatens legal action against SPC for dumping waste to lake; SPC agrees to keep wastes on land  1917 SPC begins production of chlorine. Also begins producing organic chemicals (benzene, toluene, xylenes, chlorobenzenes)  1920 SPC merges with other industries to form Allied Chemical & Dye Co.

12  County establishes Metropolitan sewer district and constructs new primary sewage treatment plant  1970 Mercury is discovered in lake fishery. Fishing is banned and Allied is sued by NYS Attorney General  1972 Congress passed Clean Water Act

13  1975 Crucible Steel starts new wastewater treatment plant  1979 Allied sells chlorine production facility to LCP Corp.  1979 Metro plant begins secondary treatment  1981 Metro plant begins phosphorus removal  1986 Allied shuts down

14  1988 Atlantic States sues county for wastewater violations; NYS joins suit.  1988 LCP is fined; closes plant.  1989 County agrees to settlement.  1989 NYS sues Allied & LCP for natural resource damages; leads to Consent Order in 1992  1994 Onondaga Lake named Superfund site

15  First passed in 1972 and subsequently amended  Section 505 allows for citizens to enforce the law

16  1988, ASLF brings a lawsuit against Onondaga County for violations of their permit to discharge to Onondaga Lake  1989, lawsuit settled  1997, the settlement was renegotiated and amended  2009, further renegotiation requires green infrastructure

17  Green Infrastructure Go to for more informationhttp://savetherain.us/ ◦ Porous Pavement ◦ Rain Gardens ◦ Vegetated curb extensions ◦ Tree trenches ◦ Stormwater planters ◦ Cisterns ◦ Vegetated roofs Green Water Street Design, Syracuse, New York, USA

18  Gray Infrastructure: ◦ Commitment to 88.7% annual volume capture in Gray Infrastructure by 2013  Green Infrastructure: ◦ Commitment to an additional 6.3% annual volume capture in Green Infrastructure commencing immediately in 2009, resulting in 95% total annual volume capture by 2018 Go to for more informationhttp://savetherain.us/

19  Benefit to Water Quality ◦ Selected Gray Projects maximize storage for advanced treatment at Metro ◦ By managing stormwater before it gets into the Combined Sewer System, ◦ Green Infrastructure eliminates pollutants at the source and reduces discharge volumes to the creek and lake ◦ Also reduces flooding and erosion

20  Create Habitat and preserve biodiversity  Improve air quality  Improve neighborhood aesthetics  Create jobs and job training programs  Increase property values  Enhance community health and vitality

21  Non-Point science and monitoring method  Integrated planning efforts: incorporating water quality, habitat creation and urban revitalization goals in planning process


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