On-Site Stormwater Controls for Construction Projects
DEP Commissioner Strickland is trumpeting the significance of the New Construction Projects Stormwater Rule as crucial to the NYC Green Infrastructure Plan, and particularly as another benchmark in ongoing efforts to improve overall water quality in the region.
“New developments will now be part of the solution in our efforts to have a cleaner and more beautiful harbor,” said Commissioner Strickland.
“In the past, runoff from buildings and pavement added significant volume in our combined sewer system that ultimately discharges a mix of stormwater and sewage directly into the city’s surrounding waterways when it rains. The new stormwater rule requires new construction and major building alterations to capture substantially more runoff through cost-effective measures, providing additional capacity in the combined sewer system. This new rule is the result of years of discussions with real estate, development and environmental stakeholders. It is an integral part of the groundbreaking NYC Green Infrastructure Plan, which proposes a more sustainable and adaptive approach to improve the water quality in New York Harbor for improved development and recreational opportunities, while also saving billions of dollars for our ratepayers.”
Steven Spinola, President of the Real Estate Board of New York, has said “The stormwater rule, as a critical part of the City’s Green Infrastructure Plan that will reap billions in savings over 20 years, will provide great relief to residents and businesses during economically difficult times.”
DEP itself employs nearly 6,000 employees and has a robust capital program with a planned $13.2 billion in investments over the next 10 years. Financial projections have shown these expenditures may be expected to create up to 3,000 construction-related jobs per year over this period.
New York City, like other older urban areas, is largely serviced by a combined sewer system where stormwater and wastewater are carried through a single pipe. During heavy storms, the system can exceed its capacity and must discharge a mix of stormwater and wastewater – called a combined sewer overflow, or CSO – into New York Harbor. Enhancing an already existing requirement, the rule will employ a wide range of on-site stormwater control techniques to all new development, redevelopment and major alterations in combined sewer areas. DEP estimates that the rule will limit stormwater discharge on development lots to approximately 10% of present permitted flow to the combined sewer system using cost-effective detention, infiltration, and recycling techniques such as blue roofs, green roofs, or subsurface gravel beds and stormwater chambers. This rule will lead to on-site control systems that are projected to reduce combined sewer overflows by as much as 800 million gallons over the next 20 years based on historic development trends. No existing homes or developments will be affected by the new rule. The rule delivers a key component of the NYC Green Infrastructure Plan announced by Mayor Bloomberg in 2010. The NYC Green Infrastructure Plan proposed a total investment of $2.4 billion over the next 20 years in green infrastructure to improve harbor water quality by capturing and retaining stormwater runoff before it enters the sewer system. The cost impact of the new standard on a project’s development is estimated to be an additional 0.3% to 1.5% of total construction costs.
The new rule can be viewed at ww.nyc.gov/dep<http://www.nyc.gov/dep
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