604B Water Quality Program

Albany_MS4-ShakerCreekThe federal Clean Water Act provides for funding to states for regional water quality management planning activities. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) awards 604(b) grants to states, which in turn make awards to regional planning and interstate organizations. Under this program CDRPC provides technical assistance to county water quality coordinating committees and MS4 communities. CDRPC, coordinates water quality outreach with the NYS DEC, and creates and participates in watershed planning activities.

Green Infrastructure Strategic Planning

Six Capital District communities (the APCs), working collectively, with support from the Albany and Rensselaer County Sewer Districts, developed a joint Long Term Control Plan (LTCP) that will, through the implementation of more than 53 projects and programs, significantly abate Combined Sewer Overflow discharges in the Hudson River and demonstrably achieve water quality.  The LTCP, jointly funded and implemented by the six APCs includes several innovative Green Infrastructure (GI) strategies and reports.

What is Green Infrastructure?

Green infrastructure uses vegetation, soils, and natural processes to manage water and create healthier urban environments. At the scale of a city or county, green infrastructure refers to the patchwork of natural areas that provides habitat, flood protection, cleaner air, and cleaner water. At the scale of a neighborhood or site, green infrastructure refers to stormwater management systems that mimic nature by soaking up and storing water. More information on Green infrastructure practices can be found within the Draft NYSDEC MS4 Permit and the NYSDEC Stormwater Management Design Manual which can be found at http://www.dec.ny.gov/chemical/29072.html

Green Infrastructure Toolkit

The Toolkit emphasizes stormwater management through retention an infiltration with a focus on urban areas and small sites – specifically focusing on volume as its main objective rather than water quality because the manual is aimed to communities with combined sewers; overflows and bacterial contamination. Check it out here.

Green Infrastructure Code Audit

The Green Infrastructure Scorecard, created by the Stormwater Coalition of Albany County and modified by CDRPC, was designed to engage communities in an in‐depth review of how local laws, ordinances, development review, design standards and natural resource protection influence stormwater management. The audit identifies barriers and gaps in the adoption of Green Infrastructure practices and low impact development. It also leads to a prescriptive set of model local laws and guidelines that can be adopted to encourage and require increased employment of  GI as a stormwater management technique – thereby reducing stormwater runoff and improving water quality. Learn more and complete the Audit here. (View a recent presentation of the Audit tool here)

Green Infrastructure Reference Resources

During the creation of our GI Code Audit, we encountered the need for a reference page of resources for questions that may be frequently asked, or further explanations of green infrastructure practices and ideas. Click here to view this page of helpful resources regarding green infrastructure.

Green Infrastructure In-Lieu-of-Fee and Credit & Banking Feasibility Study

The Stormwater In-lieu Fee, Credit Banking and Trading Feasibility Report was been prepared for the APCs to assess the feasibility of establishing a Stormwater In-lieu Fee (“ILF”), Credit Banking and Trading Program for the APCs. A stormwater ILF program is an innovative alternative to traditional stormwater management funding whereby a municipality or government agency establishes a stormwater retention or detention requirement for development or redevelopment projects and allows the property owner or developer to pay a fee in lieu of meeting the stormwater runoff requirement onsite. A stormwater Credit Banking and Trading program is an innovative market-based approach to stormwater management funding whereby a municipality or government agency allows the property owner or developer to purchase stormwater credits to satisfy the retention or detention requirements or bank the credits such that they can be used by the same developer on another project. The credits are generated and provided by other property owners who have implemented stormwater runoff mitigation projects that have exceeded the requirements.

These projects were made possible by grant support from the New York State Department of State Local Government Efficiency Program, The New York State DEC Estuary Program, and the NYSDEC 604b Grant Program.