NYC Nudges Property Owners to Install Green Roofs

March 30, 2011 at 3:10 pm Leave a comment

New York City is offering building owners another incentive to put soil rather than asphalt on their roofs.

The city’s Department of Environmental Protection in February announced up to $3 million in grants for green roofs and other infrastructure projects that help reduce storm-water runoff.  The grants are part of the NYC Infrastructure Plan, a long-term plan to improve the water quality of the city’s harbor by capturing and retaining storm-water before it enters the sewer system.

New York City’s sewer system, like that of many other older cities, combines storm-water and wastewater in a single pipe, which is problematic during heavy storms.  The system quickly becomes overwhelmed and discharges a mix of both storm-water and raw sewage — called a combined sewer overflow or CSO — into New York Harbor.

Vegetated roofs are akin to giant sponges, helping to minimize the rainwater that flows into the antiquated sewer system.  Other infrastructure projects that help reduce CSOs include tree pits, porous pavement, street-side swales, and rain barrels, all of which are eligible for grant money.

In addition to the grants, building owners are eligible for a property tax abatement of up to $100,000 for installing green roofs.

For more information on the grants, click here.

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Entry filed under: Local Food Production, Rooftop Gardening, Urban Agriculture. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , .

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