Peter Lehner, Executive Director, New York City
With a landmark announcement this week, New York City has officially joined a growing number of cities around the country in embracing a smarter--and paradigm-shifting--approach to reducing water pollution. Using a suite of techniques like strategically located street plantings, porous pavements, and green roofs, collectively known as green infrastructure, New York is turning the problem of excess stormwater into a solution that will improve the health and livability of its neighborhoods, while cleaning up the waterways that course through and around the city.
It's hard to overstate what a dramatic shift in thinking this represents. Instead of viewing stormwater as waste, New York is turning it into a resource. With this move, New York is showing the rest of the country that if the largest city in the U.S. can finally tackle its chronic water pollution problems with green infrastructure--they can, too.
A green roof on top of a NYC Department of Environmental Protection facility, near the shores of Jamaica Bay. Photo courtesy of NYC Environmental Protection.
Sewage overflows are the biggest source of water pollution in New York. During a rainstorm, the city's combined sewer system automatically discharges storm runoff ...
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