The Green Innovation Grant Program (GIGP) program, which is administered by the Environmental Facilities Corporation, provides grants on a competitive basis to projects that improve water quality and implement green infrastructure in New York State. In 2019, $15 million of grant funding was available for eligible projects through this program.
Eligible projects must provide improvement or protection of water quality through one of the following eight specific green infrastructure practices, including bioretention, downspout disconnection, establishment or restoration of flood plans, riparian buffers, streams or wetlands, green roofs and green walls, permeable pavements, stormwater harvesting and reuse, and stormwater street trees/urban forestry programs designed to manage stormwater.
GIGP will give priority to larger projects that improve water quality through the incorporation of green infrastructure. In addition, priority will be given to projects that demonstrate the effectiveness of green infrastructure in a natural environment, such as flood plains, riparian buffers, streams, and wetlands.
Eligible applicants include municipalities, private entities, state agencies, and soil and water conservation districts.
All applicants must submit a conceptual site plan, existing conditions plan, a feasibility study, and site photographs with their Consolidated Funding Application (CFA). Minimum content requirements for the feasibility study, conceptual site plan, and existing conditions plan, are included in the CFA and can also be found at: www.efc.ny.gov/gigp
Eligible projects must provide improvement or protection of water quality through one of the following eight specific green infrastructure practices, including bioretention systems, downspout disconnection, establishment or restoration of flood plans, riparian buffers, streams or wetland flood plans, wetlands and constructed wetlands, permeable pavements, and stormwater harvesting and reuse rain barrels and cisterns.
Ineligible activities and costs include, but are not limited to, the following:
• Hardening, channelizing or straightening streams and/or stream banks;
• In-line and end-of-pipe treatment systems that only filter or detain stormwater;
• Stormwater controls that have impervious or semi-impervious liners and provide no compensatory evapotranspirative or harvesting function for stormwater retention;
• Stormwater conveyance systems that are not soil/vegetation based (swales) such as pipes and concrete channels;
• Stormwater ponds that serve an extended detention function and/or extended filtration, including dirt-lined detention basins;
• Underground stormwater control and treatment devices such as swirl concentrators, hydrodynamic separators, baffle systems for grit, trash removal/floatables, oil and grease, inflatable booms and dams for in-line underground storage and diversion of flows;
• Green infrastructure practices which are being implemented to comply with the requirements of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation SPDES General Permit for Stormwater Discharges from Construction Activity Permit;
• Wetlands construction or restoration required as compensation (mitigation) for adverse impacts to wetlands or other environmental damage caused through construction activities. This ineligible category includes both tidal and freshwater wetland mitigation projects;
• Purchase of Capital equipment such as street sweepers, sewer cleaners, and vactor trucks; and
• Project costs not directly attributable to water quality.
Grants available through the GIGP will be available to cover a minimum of 40% up to a maximum 90% of the total eligible project costs as estimated in the application. A match from state or local funds for the balance of the estimated project cost is required.
Applicants must also be willing to comply with the following criteria, if awarded:
Completing all State environmental and historic preservation reviews i.e., SEQR and SHPO;
Providing a detailed final budget and plan of finance to show that sufficient funding has been secured to provide for the local match requirement and total project cost;
Obtaining EFC approval of final Feasibility Study;
Submitting proof of the legal right to own, operate and maintain the project for the duration of its useful life; and
Compliance with Minority Women Based Enterprises (MWBE) requirements.
Applicants must complete and submit a Consolidated Funding Application (CFA) for review in Regional Economic Development Council for the region in which the proposed project is located. The last grant cycle closed on July 26, 2019.
Examples of Projects Utilizing GIGP Grant Funds
GIGP grant funds have been used by municipalities, private entities, state agencies, and soil and water conservation districts to implement significant water quality and implement green infrastructure improvements across New York State.
For example, the Village of Ilion in Herkimer County received $2,500,000 in 2018 for its Steele Creek Flood Plain Stream Channel Restoration project. GIGP funds will be used to restore the nature stream channel and floodplains along the creek, increase flood conveyance, and reduce destructive flooding.
Additionally, the Town of Hempstead in Nassau County received $433,000 to undertake a salt marsh restoration project to combat erosion in High Meadow Island and Smith Marsh.
For more information about the Green Innovation Grant Program, or for inquiries related to its potential benefits or how to apply, please contact Mindy L. Zoghlin, Esq. at The Zoghlin Group, PLLC.
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