Attend the NYC DEP Long Term Control Plan Annual Citywide Meeting November 15 to Support Green Infrastructure

November 13, 2017 at 4:22 pm

NYC DEP Long Term Control Plan Meeting Green Infrastructure

If you live in the NYC area, you need to attend the NYC DEP meeting this Thursday, November 15

Recently, the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (NYC DEP) approved seven plans and has proposed two more – without a public hearing (S.W.I.M. Coalition) – to address the issue of sewer overflows. On November 15th, they are holding their annual citywide CSO (combined sewer overflow) meeting to review these series of Long Term Control Plans (LTCP) for nine NYC waterways.  Everyone is welcome to attend, but you must register first.

The NYC DEP is tasked to protect public health and the environment by supplying clean drinking water, collecting and treating wastewater, and reducing air, noise, and hazardous materials pollution.

Environmental Groups Speak Out

NYC DEP Long Term Control Plan Meeting Green Infrastructure

The National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and other groups such as the Storm Water Infrastructure Matters Coalition (S.W.I.M.) have spoken loudly for citizen input regarding the changes proposed to the NYC DEP’s new Long Term Control Plans.  They believe the city’s plans are deeply flawed and would continue to allow massive amounts of sewage to flow into waters across the city.

The environmental groups also feel the plans don’t take full advantage of solutions like green infrastructure — including rain gardens, greenroofs, and street trees — that improve our neighborhoods and keep our waters clean.

Citizen Input Needed to Support Green Infrastructure

NYC DEP Long Term Control Plan Meeting Green Infrastructure

Highview Creations installed multiple greenroofs at the Lenox Hill Neighborhood House in 2013, above and below, with partial funding by the NYC DEP Green Infrastructure Program.

Marni Marjorelle of Alive Structures called to let us know that we have to get the word out to help defend the health of New York’s waterways, which in turn includes green infrastructure (GI) and greenroofs, of course.

“We need to show up in numbers at this meeting to show DEP that Green Infrastructure is not just a clean water issue.  Showing up in numbers tells the DEP that green roofs and other forms of GI are important to the entire environmental community as well as a growing industry and a educational tool.

The DEP GI program has not had huge success in the past, but they have made significant changes which will help the program create more GI projects in the future.  This is not the time to give up on this program but time to make it stronger.” ~ Marni Marjorelle, Alive Structures

NYC DEP Long Term Control Plan Meeting Green Infrastructure

A bird’s eye view of the Lenox Hill Neighborhood House Playscape and Green Roof.

The NRDC

“Over 20 billion gallons of raw sewage and polluted runoff flow into New York waterways like the Hudson River, the East River, the Bronx River, Long Island Sound, Jamaica Bay, Flushing Bay, and the Gowanus Canal every year. Tell Mayor Bill de Blasio and other key local elected officials and decision makers to clean up our water!  We need a better plan…immediately.”~ NRDC November 9, 2017 eNewsletter

The NRDC urges you to take action and send a message to New York City Mayor de Blasio and other key local elected officials and decision makers telling them to keep raw sewage out of NYC’s waterways.

S.W.I.M.

S.W.I.M. is a coalition dedicated to ensuring swimmable and fishable waters around New York City through natural, sustainable stormwater management practices – green infrastructure – in our neighborhoods.

“The City’s proposed CSO Long Term Control Plans will not make our waterways safe for recreational activities. They will leave hundreds of millions of gallons of sewage overflows in each waterbody annually, on dozens of occasions per year.  Many of the plans do not reduce overflow volume at all and instead call for diverting raw sewage into the East River or dumping chlorine into raw sewage before discharging it to rivers, creeks, and bays. ~ S.W.I.M. Action Alert

They are asking you to join them at the public meeting and let the city hear from you.  Let them know that the proposed plans for NYC’s waterways do not go far enough and the public expects them to do better.

NYC DEP Long Term Control Plan Meeting Green Infrastructure

Brooklyn Grange Rooftop Farm #2 at Brooklyn Navy Yard, also funded as a stormwater management project by a NYC DEP Green Infrastructure Grant under PlaNYC in 2011.

Meeting Specifics

While the City has held waterway specific meetings throughout the year, this meeting will focus on the whole CSO Program.  Agenda items will include:

  • Status updates on each Long Term Control Plan (LTCP) including those approved by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC)
  • NYC Green Infrastructure Program implementation
  • Coordination the CSO Program and the Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) Program

What: NYC DEP Long Term Control Plan Annual Citywide meeting
When: Wednesday November 15, 2017, 6-8pm
Where: CUNY School of Law, 2 Court Square West, Long Island City, Queens, NY 11101

Register for the event.

NYC DEP Long Term Control Plan Meeting Green Infrastructure

Spurred by the recent success of the citizens of Denver and the passage of the Green Roof Initiative (I-300) last week, the importance of public involvement cannot be overstated.

If you live in New York City, it would certainly be in your best interest to become very familiar with the proposed NYC DEP Long Term Control Plans, and the various groups and interested individuals who are promoting green infrastructure in your area!

By Linda S. Velazquez, ASLA, LEED AP, GRP
Greenroofs.com Publisher & Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit Host

Round #2 is open!  Register now for the 50% off discounted rate of only $25 and join us online for our 2017 Virtual Summit through December, 2017.

NYC DEP Long Term Control Plan Meeting Green Infrastructure

Denver Voters Pass I-300 Green Roof Building Code!

November 9, 2017 at 5:02 pm

Denver Voters Pass I-300 Green Roof Building Code

Green Roof Ordinance I-300 Passes from Denver Voters by 52%

After a hard fought battle from both sides, the votes were in late last night: Denver voters approved the I-300 Green Roof Code on Tuesday, November 7.  The initiative passed by about 52.5 to 47.5% of the vote, in spite of the fact that the opposition outspent supporters by a margin of 12 to 1.

Starting January 1, 2018, buildings in Denver larger than 25,000 square feet will be required to green a portion of their roofs either with vegetation or solar.

Battle of the Advertising Budgets

Huge financial support was garnered from the opponents of the measure, who spent an estimated $250,000.  In particular, Denver commercial real estate developers, some businesses, and the opposition campaign “Citizens for a Responsible Denver” were the leading challengers to the proposed mandate.

Contrast that amount to the meager $10,000 collected by the Denver Green Roof Initiative over the past months!  Grassroots leader and Denver Green Roof Initiative Campaign Manager Brandon Reitheimer says most of the money was spent on social media advertising.

And in particular, Brandon emphasized the importance of volunteer canvasing across the city, from homes to Democratic house district meetings to neighborhood association meetings.

Denver Voters Pass I-300 Green Roof Building Code

Denver Botanical Gardens.

Citizen-led Initiative with a Great Reach

The Denver victory is great for all of us in the living architecture field, but especially for the citizens of Denver.  And, hopefully it’s a sign that future municipalities also will provide leadership on sustainability.

The citizen-led initiative had much support from locals and within the greater greenroof community.  Many of us donated money, time, and marketing to the cause, including Greenroofs.com, Green Roofs for Healthy Cities (GRHC), and others within the U.S. greenroof industry.

Favorable Cost-Benefit Study from Green Roofs for Healthy Cities & Green Infrastructure Foundation

In mid-October, Green Roofs for Healthy Cities prepared a detailed cost-benefit analysis of the economic impact relating to the proposed I-300 Ordinance, entitled Making Informed Decisions: A Green Roof Cost and Benefit Study for Denver.”

GRHC found that widespread greenroof installation would result in 57.5 million square feet of living roofs, and generate $1.85 billion in savings by 2058 and approximately 25,000 job-years in employment over a 15 year period.

“The study doesn’t quantify many important green roof benefits or the solar component in the proposed law. We used conservative data on costs and benefits from Denver which suffers from terrible urban heat island impacts, combined with studies from other jurisdictions that have implemented mandatory green roof requirements,” ~ Andy Creath, Green Infrastructure Foundation board member and president, Green Roofs of Colorado in the 10.13.17 Green Roofs for Healthy Cities & Green Infrastructure Foundation Media Release

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock Weighs In

Denver Voters Pass I-300 Green Roof Building Code

Denver EPA Greenroof.

Mayor Hancock was against the measure, saying it went “too far,” in Denverite but added that the city would implement the will of the people.

“We are concerned that it may mean more initial costs. Once the people have spoken, that’s our job. There may need to be some tweaks, based on legal challenges. Though we were not going to line up and support the initiative, our values align.” ~ Denver is one of the first U.S. cities to require green roofs – so what happens now?

What Does Happen Now?

Regarding the passage of this Initiative, two important items remain:

1. I-300 will be reviewed by a Technical Committee which can put alterations to a vote by the Denver City Council;

2. And in six months, the Denver City Council would have the option of repealing or making changes to the ordinance with a two-thirds majority.

Denver Voters Pass I-300 Green Roof Building Code

Denver Residence on Quivas Street.

Is Denver Ready?

At present, the mayor and city council members are researching all of the possible opportunities and challenges that might be inherent in implementing the initiative. And Andrea Burns with Denver Community Planning and Development says the new ordinance will take a lot of effort, but that they will make it work for the people of Denver.

Green Roofs for Healthy Cities says it will continue to work with local groups, the Technical Committee, and the Denver City Council to strengthen and support the initiative and grow the area greenroof market.

Leila Tolderlund, LEED AP, GRP, an assistant professor in the University of Colorado Denver’s College of Architecture and Planning – and one of our Speakers at the Greenroofs.com Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2017 – provided commentary to Denverite:

“We’re ready,” Tolderlund said of the landscape architects of Denver. Bring it on.” ~ Denver is one of the first U.S. cities to require green roofs – so what happens now?

Kudos to All

Congratulations to the tireless and persistent volunteers at Denver Green Roof Initiative, in particular Brandon Reitheimer, for their incredible work on passing the first fully citizen-led ballot initiative of this kind in Denver!

Additional work needs to be accomplished to keep Initiative 300 on track for next January 1, and you can count on us for continued media support.

Denver Voters Pass I-300 Green Roof Building Code

Community College of Denver.

For additional information, contact Brandon Reitheimer at Brandon@denvergreenroof.org or call (717) 433-3663.

By Linda S. Velazquez, ASLA, LEED AP, GRP
Greenroofs.com Publisher & Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit Host

Register now and join us online for our 2017 Virtual Summit through December, 2017.  Round #2 started on October 16th!

Denver Voters Pass I-300 Green Roof Building Code

WaterBuild: The Many Facets of Water Resilience, by Joanne Rodriguez

October 19, 2017 at 3:44 pm

At Greenbuild 2017’s WaterBuild, engage in discussion of how water resilience intersects with equity, technology and infrastructure.

Originally posted at GreenBuild 2017 on October 13, 2017

Greenbuild 2017 WaterBuild Many Facets Water Resilience Joanne Rodriguez

Many Facets of Water Resilience

With the extreme weather events of the past month—hurricanes, floods, drought and wildfires—it may indeed be time to more urgently think about water resilience and water risk mitigation. How are you and your community incorporating water resilience and water sustainability in planning and design? When water quality hangs in the balance, and we have too much or too little water, what is the downstream effect?

“The second WaterBuild summit at the Greenbuild International Conference & Expo will focus on resilience to climate and storm related community stresses, with specific emphasis placed on the role of innovative infrastructure solutions. We are faced with the growing threat of frequent extreme weather events as our bridges, tunnels, levees, dams, buildings, and streets continue to age. At WaterBuild, leaders come together to drive discussion around innovative solutions that will ensure the survivability and sustainability of our cities and communities.” ~ WaterBuild 2017

Join us at Greenbuild Boston, from November 8 – 10, 2017, as we dive deep into water resilience at the WaterBuild Summit: Rising Above: Using Innovative Solutions To Build Resilience on November 7. Industry experts are convening for a full day of programs and discussion that you won’t want to miss.

Here are just a few considerations at the nexus of water and resilience that we’ll be exploring at WaterBuild 2017:

Greenbuild 2017 WaterBuild Many Facets Water Resilience Joanne Rodriguez

Water resilience and technology

We know that our communications and energy infrastructure can be crippled by a severe storm, but how can technology help us predict and model our design shortcomings? Technology can help us track performance of our infrastructure, including rainwater quantity and quality, potable water quality, wastewater processing and water access.

We can use an emerging set of tools to adapt to the “new normal” of our severe weather cycles. At this year’s WaterBuild Summit, we will be talking about and applying some of the emerging technologies, as well as revisiting some of the existing technologies that might help us plan better and adapt better in the long term.

Water resilience and equity

Many residents displaced by flood events do not have the available resources to rebuild new homes, restore their old homes or return to live in recovering communities. When the water rises or spoils, it does so indiscriminately. Its impacts are rarely felt equally.

How we plan for those often predictable impacts, and how we provide support services doesn’t have to be indiscriminate; it can be done with intention. This year’s WaterBuild program will build on the 2016 summit and deepen discussion on this important topic, giving consideration to how water can negatively impact a community and how to design with greater equity in mind.

Water resilience and grey/green infrastructure

We have developed amazing feats of engineering to manage and mitigate risks to water quantity and quality. When deployed effectively, these can complement nature’s many tools in its toolbox.

Engaging communities and design teams in dialogue about how to apply both grey and green infrastructure to have the greatest impact on adaptation is essential to developing solutions that will last. There are many dimensions to infrastructure development. Considering the greatest multiple outcomes of a solution set will set the standard of gaining the greatest return on investment.

“The U.S. Green Building Council is committed to developing practical solutions to social equity challenges, including those that arise from issues related to bias in communities of diverse racial, economic and social composition. At the heart of the summit will be the belief that equitable access to quality water is paramount to resilience. In order to ensure the safety and security of diverse communities, we must address concerns around potable water availability and use, water capture and treatment, water reuse, wastewater management, and more.” ~ WaterBuild 2017

Summit Sessions

Numerous sessions will be held at WaterBuild including: The WaterBuild Opening Session; Design with Climate: A resilient neighborhood for Cambridge; Collaborative Research, Tool-Making, and the Water Challenge; Towards Net Zero Water in LEED: a Forum on Whole Project Water Use; WaterBuild Luncheon; Charrette: Resiliency, Equity, and Water Management at Chelsea Creek; Water-Energy-Food Nexus, Powered by Pecha Kucha; The New Paradigm for EcoDistrict On-Site Water Management; Rising to Meet the 21st Century Clean Water Challenge, Powered by Pecha Kucha; Innovative Water Management in Our Nation’s Capital; and the Combined Closing Plenary.

See the descriptions of all of the WaterBuild Summit Sessions here.

Come and Be a Part of WaterBuild 2017

Join us at WaterBuild to discuss all these important aspects of water resilience at Greenbuild 2017 in Boston.

Greenbuild 2017 WaterBuild Many Facets Water Resilience Joanne Rodriguez

~ Joanne Rodriguez

Greenbuild 2017 WaterBuild Many Facets Water Resilience Joanne Rodriguez

Joanne Rodriguez has two decades of experience working within the building products and construction communities, with an emphasis on sustainable building impacts and high performance building envelope assemblies. In 2017 she fully launched GreenStructure–a multi-disciplinary environmental consulting firm founded in 2012, housing over 20 years of experience in the built environment. With expertise in strategic sustainability and resiliency planning, she has coupled her highly technical background with the emerging trends in ecosystems and risk mitigation to become a green infrastructure asset specialist. GreenStructure has experience in zero-landfill and waste diversion programming, energy efficiency audits, and sustainable roof and building envelope solutions.

At Tremco, she was responsible for the development of sales and marketing platforms focused on sustainability in the built environment. She was responsible for the implementation of programs like Roof Recycling and Zero Landfill. She has worked with architects and engineers across the country in the development of specifications and drawings that meet the highest technical standards. LEED AP through the USGBC, she is a former member of the Construction Specifications Institute Strategic Planning Task Team, past President of Chicago CSI, a frequent National speaker on topics related to sustainability impacts (water, energy, air) of building envelope technologies, as well as a speaker and participant for the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) America meetings in Chicago and Denver focusing on Women in the Workforce and Sustainable Buildings. She has participated as an expert in the first two Resilient Cities Summits, hosted by the National League of Cities, Urban Land Institute and USGBC, intended to address urban issues related to health, wellness, and resilient design solutions. Rodriguez was the co-Chair of Tremco Group’s Green Chemistry team, which worked to examine the potential hazards and risk posed to employees, contractors and community through raw material and product usage.

She is on the EPA’s Environmentally Preferred Purchasing Pilot Panel for Paints/Coatings, helping to develop the technical framework of how the Federal Government will purchase materials now and in the future. She is currently a part of the USGBC WaterBuild Advisory Group for GreenBuild 2017 and was a speaker at the International Roofing Expo, as well as a Keynote Speaker for Greenroofs.com Virtual Roof and Wall Summit 2017. Joanne has participated as a moderator and in design Charrettes for Cities Alive. Her vast experience working across many stakeholders has proven to be beneficial in addressing complex issues related to material use, health related impacts, durability and life-cycle impacts.

Greenbuild 2017 WaterBuild Many Facets Water Resilience Joanne Rodriguez

Publisher’s Note: Greenroofs.com is extremely proud to have Joanne Rodriguez as one of our Keynotes for this year’s 2017 Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit: Connecting the Planet + Living Architecture, currently running on demand through December 31, 2017.  Read all about Joanne’s Keynote video, “Roofing BMP’s for Low-Impact Development Projects” where I had the pleasure of interacting with Joanne during her highly informative session.  If you’re not already registered, sign up with the Special Round#2 Discounted Rate of only $25.

Contact Joanne Rodriguez at: 630-235-1526 or greenstructureus@gmail.com.

2017 Greenroofs & Walls of the World Virtual Summit Round #2 is Open with Special Discounted Pricing!

October 16, 2017 at 5:42 pm

2017 Greenroofs Walls World Virtual Summit Round #2 Special Pricing

The 2017 Greenroofs & Walls of the World Virtual Summit Round #2

If you haven’t registered yet for the 2017 Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit: Connecting the Planet + Living Architecture, Round #2 is now open – and the time is now! Highlighting excellence and lessons learned in green living architecture, the 4th biennial web-based Virtual Summit is the living architecture industry’s marquee innovation event that only takes place every other year.

Presented by Greenroofs.com, the 2017 Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit runs on demand with live social media events through December 31, 2017.

Special Discounted Pricing Through the End of the Year

Register through December 31, 2017 at the 50% off discounted rate of only $25:

2017 Greenroofs Walls World Virtual Summit Round #2 Special Pricing

Round #1 Speakers

Watch and learn from our 4 awesome Keynotes and 27 esteemed Speakers from Round #1…

2017 Greenroofs Walls World Virtual Summit Round #2 Special Pricing

L to R: Emilio Ambasz; Patrick Blanc; Stephen Ritz; and Joanne Rodriguez

2017 Greenroofs Walls World Virtual Summit Round #2 Special Pricing

Round #2 Speakers

…PLUS our 10 brand new Short Videos (under 10 minutes) from 9 new colleagues, firms, and organizations from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Sweden, The Netherlands, and the U.S.:

2017 Greenroofs Walls World Virtual Summit Round #2 Special Pricing

An International Line-Up

Now we have 16 countries across 5 continents represented from Asia, Australia/New Zealand, Europe, North America, and South America.  Come and hear perspectives from a truly diverse and wide range of professionals – at your leisure.

See the entire Agenda to learn more about each video check out all of our 40 wonderful Speakers and their 36 talks – short, medium, and long!

Industry Support

Additionally, we must thank our Sponsors, Exhibitors, and living architecture/green infrastructure Organization Partners who support our work:

2017 Greenroofs Walls World Virtual Summit Round #2 Special Pricing
Learn, Network, and Support Our Work

If you haven’t joined us yet, take advantage of the 50% off special registration rate now through the end of year.  Support our work, learn about new projects, happenings, and people, and connect with your fellow green infrastructure colleagues from across the planet.

Stay tuned for more Live Social Media Events in November!

By Linda S. Velazquez, ASLA, LEED AP, GRP
Greenroofs.com Publisher & Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit Host

Register now and join us online for our 2017 Virtual Summit through December, 2017!2017 Greenroofs Walls World Virtual Summit Round #2 Special Pricing