Green Innovation Grant Program

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Overview

Through the Governor's Consolidated Funding Application (CFA) process, the Green Innovation Grant Program (GIGP) supports projects across New York State that utilize unique stormwater infrastructure design and create cutting-edge green technologies. GIGP-funded projects may be found from Buffalo to the end of the Long Island, and range from rain gardens to stream "daylighting" projects.

GIGP provides grants on a competitive basis to projects that improve water quality and demonstrate green stormwater infrastructure in New York. GIGP is administered by the New York State Environmental Facilities Corporation (EFC) and the grant provides funding of a minimum of 40% up to a maximum of 90% of the total eligible project costs as provided in the application. A minimum of 10% up to 60% match from state or local sources is required. 

Green infrastructure practices treat rainwater as a valuable resource to be harvested and used on site, or filtered and allowed to soak back into the ground, recharging aquifers, rivers, and streams. The plants used in green infrastructure help to cool our surroundings and improve air quality through the process of evapotranspiration. These green practices have multiple benefits, which include restoring habitat, protecting against flooding, providing cleaner air, and beautifying our streets to spur economic development and community revitalization. 

Projects selected for funding go beyond offering a greener solution. They maximize opportunities to leverage the multiple benefits of green infrastructure, spur innovation in the field of stormwater management, build capacity to construct and maintain green infrastructure, and/or facilitate the transfer of new technologies and practices to other areas across the state.

Eligibility

Eligible Applicants include:

  • Municipalities
  • Two or more municipalities with a shared water quality infrastructure project
  • State Agencies
  • Interstate Agencies
  • Private Entities
  • Soil and Water Conservation Districts
Eligible Practices

Designed to convey rainfall through the pavement surface into an underlying reservoir where it can infiltrate, thereby reducing stormwater runoff from a site. Given appropriate soil and subsurface conditions, permeable pavements can be used in any type of development, for example: roads, parking lots, sidewalks, basketball and tennis courts, playgrounds, and plaza surfaces. 

Bioretention systems are shallow vegetated depressions often referred to by a variety of names such as bioinfiltration areas, biofilters, rain gardens, bioswales, or recharge gardens. They are very effective at removing pollutants and reducing stormwater runoff. These systems are designed to collect water in the depression where it ponds on the surface and is then used by the vegetation in evapotranspiration and infiltrated into the soil.

  • Green Roofs consist of vegetation, growing media, and a drainage layer installed on top of a conventional flat or sloped roof. The rooftop vegetation soaks up rainwater where some of this water evaporates off the surface, some is used by the plants in evapotranspiration, and in larger storms a portion of the water will runoff. 
  • Green Walls are vertical systems which provide air quality and stormwater benefits, and can help to reduce energy usage. Plants can be rooted in the ground, or installed in modular containers, growing blocks or growing mats along the face of the structure. 

Stormwater street trees include engineered tree pits, tree boxes, and trenches designed to capture stormwater from the adjacent roadway and manage the stormwater through evapotranspiration and infiltration. Urban Forestry Programs use a detailed inventory and map of existing and proposed trees to manage and maintain their urban canopy. Implementing an Urban Forestry Program can provide water quality benefits in addition to numerous other benefits including: reducing energy usage by shading buildings in the summer to reduce thermal loads and blocking winter winds, providing wildlife habitat, sequestering carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, intercepting and absorbing pollutants through their leaves and branches. 

  • Floodplains are a natural water right-of-way that provide temporary storage for large flood event, keeping people and structures out of harm's way and preserving riparian ecosystems and habitats. Over time, people have filled in and built on floodplains thereby reducing nature's ability to cope with large rain events. Restoring floodplains helps provide safe storage of excess water in large storm events, reduces volume through infiltration and evaporation, and filters sediment and nutrients from the water before it reaches or re-enters the larger waterbody.
  • Riparian Buffers are vegetated or undisturbed natural areas that filter runoff before it enters a waterbody. Riparian zones reduce sediment, nitrogen, phosphorous, pesticides and other pollutants by soaking the water and associated pollutants into the ground where some of these can be broken down. Healthy riparian buffers increase habitat, stabilize channels and banks, improve water quality, provides stream shade and temperature control and improve aesthetics. 
  • Stream Bank Stabilization uses bioengineering and soft redirected methods to rehabilitate streams to a more natural flow with an overarching goal of reducing erosion and destructive flows. Stream stabilization typically consists of vegetative improvements as well as the use of lock logs, stones, vanes, weirs and j-hooks where appropriate. 
  • Wetlands and constructed wetlands are shallow marsh systems planted with emergent vegetation that are designed to treat stormwater runoff. They are extremely effective for pollutant removal and can mitigate peak rates and reduce runoff volume. Constructed wetlands have considerable aesthetic and wildlife benefits and are a good option for retrofitting existing detention basins.

Stream daylighting includes the removal of natural streams from artificial pipes and culverts to restore a more natural stream morphology that is capable fo accommodating a range of hydrologic conditions while improving biological integrity. Stream daylighting provides habitat, promotes infiltration, helps reduce pollutant loads and can provide better runoff attenuation because it increases the storage size of the natural system. 

The removal of runoff from a direct connection to a combined or storm sewer. Historically, many communities required that roofs have stormwater connected to the sewer to rapidly convey the water away from the structure. 

Rain barrels are rooftop catchment storage systems typically utilized in residential settings while cisterns are large-scale rain barrels used in commercial and industrial settings. Rain barrels and cisterns capture and store stormwater runoff to be used later for lawn and landscaping irrigation, or water can be filtered and used for non-potable activities such as car washing or filling swimming pools. 

Evaluation Criteria

Project are scored based on the following criteria:

  • Addressing or demonstrating solutions to Regional water quality issues
  • Alignment with the goals and priorities of its Regional Council Strategic Plan
  • Builds capacity through the incorporation of green stormwater infrastructure as key components of larger transformative projects
  • Establishing or restoring natural features, ecology and hydrology
  • Leveraging of additional resources through removing barriers to collaboration, developing new partnerships, utilizing staff and in-kind resources, securing other funding and investments, and/or provides workforce development
  • Likelihood of project success, based on project development at time of application
  • Measurable improvement or protection of water quality, including applicant’s proposal for generating water quality metrics
  • Outreach and educational opportunities provided by the project applicant in order to facilitate the transfer of new technologies, knowledge, and practices to other NYS water quality issues and other regions of the State
  • Plan for the long-term operation, maintenance, and water quality of the project
  • Spurs innovation in the area of green stormwater infrastructure through the development and/or adoption of new technologies
Award Requirements

EFC is committed to promoting participation opportunities for New York State ("State") certified minority- and women-owned business enterprises ("MWBEs") and federal disadvantaged business enterprises ("DBEs"), and equal employment opportunities ("EEO") for minority group members and women in the performance of EFC contracts as well as contracts that receive financial assistance through EFC's various programs.

More About MWBE/DBE/EEO

The Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Business Act, signed into law by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo on May 12, 2014, allows eligible Veteran business owners to get certified as a New York State Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Business (SDVOB). The goal of the Act is to encourage and support eligible SDVOBs to play a greater role in the state’s economy by increasing their participation in New York State’s contracting opportunities.

More About SDVOB

  • SEQR: All applicants seeking SRF financial assistance must comply with the environmental review requirements of the State Environmental Review Process.
  • SERP: Applicants seeking such assistance for a treatment works project must also comply with the added environmental review requirements of the State Environmental Review Process.

The State Smart Growth Public Infrastructure Policy Act of 2010 is intended to augment the state’s environmental policy by maximizing the social, economic, and environmental benefits of public infrastructure development while minimizing unnecessary environmental degradation, disinvestment in urban and suburban communities, and the loss of open space resulting from sprawl development.

More About Smart Growth

 

All state funded projects must be reviewed for potential impacts on historical properties and cultural resources. This review is conducted by the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation (OPRHP). Each SRF applicant is required to consult with and solicit a letter from the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) indicating that a suitable review has been initiated or completed. 

Applicants must submit a final budget and plan of finance, including all third party funding agreements, and satisfaction of the minimum required local match requirement. 

GIGP interpretive signs should be installed at the project site within 90 days after final project acceptance.

EFC Signage Guidance
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