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 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 implement green stormwater infrastructure in New York State. GIGP is administered by the New York State Environmental Facilities Corporation (EFC). Grants will be made available to cover a minimum of 40% up to a maximum of 90% of the eligible project costs as estimated in the application. A match from state or local sources for the balance is required. 

Green infrastructure improves water quality by reducing and treating stormwater at its source through infiltration and evapotranspiration. Green infrastructure also provides multiple environmental, economic, and social benefits, which include: filtering pollutants, recharging aquifers, rivers and streams, alleviating flooding, preserving wildlife, restoring habitat, cooling the surrounding environment, reducing air pollution, and decreasing energy usage.

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
  • Private Entities
  • State Agencies
  • Soil and Water Conservation Districts
Eligible Practices

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. Properly designed bioretention practices mimic natural ecosystems through species diversity, density and distribution of vegetation, and the use of native species. This allows for the bioretention system to be resistant to insects, disease, pollution, and climatic stresses.

Downspout disconnection is the removal of roof runoff from a direct connection to a combined or storm sewer and redirecting runoff to a vegetated and pervious area where plants and soil can filter and infiltrate the water. Historically, many communities required that roofs have stormwater connected to the sewer to rapidly convey the water away from the structure. However, by redirecting the rain to a designated vegetated pervious area or catchment system, runoff volume can be greatly reduced and water quality benefits can be achieved. 

Flood plains are a natural water right-of-way that provide temporary storage for large flood events. Restoring flood plains provides greater 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 receiving waterbody.

Riparian Buffers are vegetated areas adjacent to streams. This practice helps protect streams from the impacts of stormwater runoff by: filtering sediment and other pollutants, reducing erosion by stabilizing stream channels and banks, and providing temperature control through stream shading.

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.

Stream daylighting typically occurs in highly urban areas where historic streams have often been piped and buried to make way for development. This practice uncovers these streams and returns them to their natural condition, improving the environment and livability of the surrounding community.

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 flooding and reduce runoff volume.

Green roofs consist of vegetation, growing media, and a drainage layer installed on top of a conventional flat or sloped roof. The vegetation reduces stormwater runoff from the rooftop primarily through uptake and evapotranspiration.  

Green Walls are vertical systems which consist of a modular container to hold growing media and vegetation.

Permeable Pavements are designed to reduce stormwater runoff by conveying rainfall through the pavement surface into an underlying reservoir where it can infiltrate. Permeable pavements include permeable asphalt, permeable concrete, and pervious pavers such as reinforced turf and interlocking modules. Given appropriate soil and subsurface conditions, permeable pavements can be used in many types of development, including: roads, parking lots, sidewalks, plazas, playgrounds, basketball courts, and tennis courts.

Rain barrels and cisterns, the most common types of projects in this practice, capture and store stormwater runoff to be used later for non-potable activities. Rain barrels are rooftop catchment storage systems typically utilized in residential settings while cisterns are used in large-scale commercial and industrial settings.

Stormwater Street Trees include engineered tree pits, tree boxes and trenches designed to capture stormwater from adjacent sidewalks and roadways.

Urban Forestry Programs are comprehensive plans that map out existing trees and plant new trees to manage and maintain their urban canopy.

Applicants should refer to the New York State Stormwater Management Design Manual for design guidance.

Evaluation Criteria

Projects will be scored and selected based on the level to which it:

  • Builds capacity through the incorporation of green stormwater infrastructure as a key component of a larger transformative project
  • Establishes or restores natural features, ecology and hydrology
  • Addresses or demonstrates solutions to Regional water quality issues
  • Makes measurable improvements or protects water quality, including applicant’s proposal for generating water quality metrics
  • Aligns with the goals and priorities of its Regional Council Strategic Plan
  • Is likely to succeed based on project development at time of application
  • Spurs innovation in the area of green stormwater infrastructure through the development and/or adoption of new technologies
  • Provides 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
  • Leverages of additional resources through removing barriers to collaboration, developing new partnerships, utilizing staff, securing other funding and investments, and/or provides workforce development Plans for the long-term operation, maintenance, and water quality of the project

EFC will consider regional distribution in the determination of awards, to the extent practicable.

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 goal of 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 for EFC financial assistance are required to assess the environmental impacts of their projects pursuant to the State Environmental Quality Review (SEQR) Act.
  • SERP: Applicants seeking State Revolving Fund financing also must comply with the applicable requirements of the federal State Environmental Review Process (SERP), which may be more stringent than the requirements under SEQR. To comply with SERP, unless the project is a Type II Action exempt from SEQR, it generally must be treated as a Type I Action under SEQR. 

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

 

Each applicant seeking financial assistance from EFC is required to consult with New York's State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO), within the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation and obtain a letter from SHPO stating that based upon its review, it is SHPO's opinion that the project will have no effect upon cultural resources in or eligible for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places, or that SHPO has no objection to the applicant proceeding with the planning of the projects, subject to SHPO's final approval and the applicant's compliance with any conditions of SHPO's approval. 

For more information regarding SHPO, click here.

The project budget identifies all known and estimated costs that are projected to be incurred during the planning, design, and construction of the project. The budget should contain all costs that pertain to the project, including costs for professional services such as legal counsel, financial adviser services, and other consultants. Actual executed contract or agreement amounts should be used when available. 

The project budget includes a plan of finance that identifies all sources of moneys expected to fund the total cost of the project, including the required local match. This includes the estimated amount of GIGP financial assistance and any additional sources of moneys which will pay for the project, including any third party sources, and any municipal or other contributions. The balance may not be financed through the SRF. As of 2018, projects that receive GIGP funding may not be funded in any part by an EPG, WIIA, ISC or IMG grant.

Project Budget and Plan of Finance Template

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

EFC Signage Guidance
EFC Logo