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City Sponsored Green Initiatives Coming to Gowanus

DEP Commissioner Caswell Holloway discusses efforts Thursday night

The Gowanus Canal may be , but that's not stopping the influx of , , real estate development and into the neighborhood.

The city's Department of Environmental Protection is undertaking clean up efforts to make the canal safer for residents and visitors. Combined with the the recent Federal Superfund designation, the polluted and once desolate area is waking up and getting clean. 

In September, the DEP launched the Green Infrastructure Plan, which was created to deal with combined sewer overflows (CSOs). When it rains, a mix of sewage and stormwater run off gets into bodies of water, creating a dangerous health hazard. The city's plan involves implementing "grey" (more traditional projects like the upgrade of the Gowanus Canal flushing tunnel and pumping station) and "green" infrastructure initiatives at 13 sites, including the Gowanus Canal.

To discuss the Green Infrastructure Plan, . Hosted by Councilmember Brad Lander, the event is from 7 to 9 p.m. at on Carroll Street.

"Green" initiatives include swales, tree beds and green roofs to collect water and "gray" initiatives include more traditional infrastructure such as improved sewers. This two-pronged plan was called a "sustainable hybrid approach" by Margot Walker, Director of Green Infrastructure Partnerships at the city DEP, at a in January.

"Green infrastructure is an alternative approach to improving water quality," said Councilmember Brad Lander in a statement.

Lander said he invited Holloway to come to the neighborhood so residents can learn about how Green Infrastructure could make the neighborhoods cleaner and more environmentally friendly.

Grants will also be available for private property owners who choose to implement green initiatives, said Lander.

"The potential benefits of the NYC Green Infrastructure Plan are tremendous," said Commissioner Holloway. "The plan combines certain cost-effective grey solutions with $2.4 billion in green solutions over 20 years—which will cut CSOs by more than 12 billion gallons per year by 2030—a 40% reduction."

tom murphy April 23, 2011 at 11:30 PM
"Grey solutions? Grants for private property owners? Both deserve clarification.

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