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.

The GIGP will provide up to $17 million in grant on a competitive basis to projects that improve water quality and mitigate the effects of climate change through the implementation of one or more of the following green practices: Green Stormwater Infrastructure, Energy Efficiency, and Water Efficiency

GIGP Program Overview 2020

Green Stormwater Infrastructure

Green stormwater infrastructure projects improve water quality by reducing and treating stormwater at its source through infiltration and/or evapotranspiration. Green stormwater infrastructure projects selected for funding go beyond offering a greener solution. They maximize opportunities to leverage the multiple benefits of green stormwater infrastructure, spur innovation in the field of stormwater management, build capacity to construct and maintain green stormwater infrastructure, and/or facilitate the transfer of new technologies and practices to other areas of the State.

The maximum percentage grant is up to 90% of eligible project costs for a green stormwater infrastructure project in a municipality that meets the MHI criteria, or that serves, protects, or benefits an environmental justice area. All other green infrastructure projects are eligible to receive up to a maximum of 75% of total eligible project costs.

  • Municipalities
  • Private Entities
  • State Agencies
  • Soil and Water Conservation Districts
Green Stormwater Infrastructure 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.

Energy Efficiency

Energy Efficiency projects improve technologies and/or practices to reduce the energy consumption of water quality projects, use energy in a more efficient way, or produce/utilize renewable energy.

The maximum percentage grant is up to 75% of eligible project costs for an energy efficiency project in a municipality that meets the MHI criteria, or that serves, protects, or benefits an environmental justice area. All other energy efficiency projects are eligible to receive up to a maximum of 50% of total eligible project costs.

Publicly Owned Treatment Works (POTW)

Energy Efficiency Eligible Practices

Projects such as wind, solar, micro-hydroelectric, and biogas combined heat and power systems (CHP) that provide power to a POTW. POTW renewable energy projects can be located onsite or offsite. These projects include the portion of a publicly owned renewable energy project that serves the POTW’s energy needs. The project must feed into the grid from which the utility draws and/or must be directly connected to the grid.

Projects that achieve at least a 20% reduction in energy consumption through the replacement of equipment with energy efficient equipment. These projects must compare the energy used by the existing system or unit process to the proposed project. The energy used by the existing system should be based on name plate data when the system was first installed, recognizing that the old system is currently operating at a lower overall efficiency than at the time of installation. New POTW projects or capacity expansion projects should be designed to maximize energy efficiency and should select high efficiency premium motors and equipment where cost effective.  

Projects that provide for the installation of equipment designed to identify I/I issues.  

Water Efficiency

Water Efficiency projects use improved technologies and/or practices to deliver equal or better services with less water. Water efficiency encompasses conservation and reuse efforts, as well as water loss reduction and prevention, to protect water resources for the future.

The maximum percentage grant is up to 75% of eligible project costs for a water efficiency project in a municipality that meets the MHI criteria, or that serves, protects, or benefits an environmental justice area. All other water efficiency projects are eligible to receive up to a maximum of 50% of total eligible project costs.

Municipalities

Water Efficiency Eligible Practices

Projects that provide for the installation of water meters in previously unmetered areas. These projects can include backflow prevention devices if installed in conjunction with water meters.

Projects that include the replacement of existing broken/malfunctioning water meters or upgrading existing meters with automatic meter reading systems (AMR), smart meters, meters with built in leak detection, or backflow prevention devices if installed in conjunction with water meter replacement.

Projects that add AMR capabilities or leak detection equipment to existing meters (not replacing the meter itself).

Projects that recycle gray water, condensate and wastewater effluent to reduce potable water consumption.

Evaluation Criteria

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

  • Addresses environmental justice issues
  • Establishes or restores natural features, ecology and hydrology
  • Implements measures that address climate change, including cooling the surrounding environment, mitigating urban heat islands, reducing air pollution, and reducing energy use
  • Is likely to succeed based on project development at time of application
  • Makes measurable improvements to or protects water quality, including applicant’s proposal for generating water quality metrics
  • Leverages 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
  • Provides opportunities for the applicant to facilitate the transfer of new technologies, knowledge, and practices to other water quality issues and other regions of the State
  • Spurs innovation in the area of green stormwater infrastructure, energy efficiency, or water efficiency 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 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. 

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
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