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  • SWIM

Green Infrastructure Plan: Missed Milestones

Updated: Sep 29, 2020

NYC is backing away from Green Infrastructure goals, with the State’s blessing!

In July, the State approved two DEP reports on its green infrastructure (GI) program which reveal that the State expects to let the City off the hook for its long-term GI obligations. The city and state did not disclose these approvals until very recently, when SWIM asked for a status update.

  • DEC approved DEP’s ”Contingency Plan” for meeting the City’s original 2015 target for building green infrastructure (GI) in CSO watersheds. As SWIM reported at the time, DEP achieved only 40% of that target by the deadline. DEC’s approval allows DEP an additional five years to meet the 2015 target.

In light of DEP’s slow progress, DEC’s letter approving the Contingency Plan expresses doubt that DEP can actually meet the initial GI target even by 2020 -- much less meet the original 2020 target of 3,150 acres of impervious area managed with green infrastructure, or the ultimate 2030 target of approximately 8,000 acres (equal to 10% of the total impervious area that drains into the combined sewer system).

DEP is not making best efforts on green infrastructure, as SWIM’s City Council testimony from March 2017 makes clear. The testimony identifies many things the City is not doing and what other cities are doing that would enable much greater success on GI.

Stay tuned for a new Fact Sheet and other resources from SWIM showing how the City can transform its GI program to achieve long-term success.

Photo Credit: NYC DEP Green Infrastructure

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