Recent EFC Events

Green Design & Energy Issues for Planning & Zoning Officials
November 30, 2009, Suffern, NY (Rockland County)

Co-sponsored by the Environmental Finance Center, Rockland Municipal Planning Federation (RMPF), and Hudson Valley Regional Council, the event featured six speakers, addressing fifty attendees, most of whom were Rockland Planning Board members. All board members received three hours of continuing education credits to be applied to their yearly requirement of four hours.
Extremely knowledgeable and professional speakers touched on a wide array of issues surrounding the subject of green design principles. Speakers included:
  • Chuck Frankel, President of RMPF, introduced the seminar, praising the audience for their interest in green principles, as it is the way of the future.
  • Simon Gruber, a consultant to the Hudson Valley Regional Council, described the LEED Rating System, and introduced NYS legislation now pending that would require municipalities to offer tax credits for citizens that invest in eco-friendly upgrades and renovations in their homes or businesses.  
  • Gordon Wren, Rockland County Director of Fire & Emergency Services, discussed the less-talked about aspect of green: green infrastructure and the potential hazards it presents to emergency response personnel.
  • Ed Gray of Rockland BOCES showed a video clip of the BOCES "Smart House," constructed by students, and powered 100%+ by solar and biomass energy.
  • William Makofske, Professor Emeritus at Ramapo College, described renewable energy options, and the need to shoot for "below Energy Star" when seeking energy efficiency.
  • Tony Lisanti of the Building Performance Contractors Association of NYS, described the importance of air circulation systems in a weatherized home.
  • Barbara Kendall, of the NYS DEC Hudson River Estuary Program, and a former planner herself, summed up the evening with ways to mimic natural systems when designing green infrastructure, such as stormwater management techniques and smart development siting.
GREEN 2010: Education & Workforce Development for the 21st Century Economy
December 4, 2009, Millbrook NY

This event featured speakers from all angles of the sustainability and green movement including those involved with workforce development and job creation, those involved in the media and communications side of framing the green debate, those growing local food and sustaining agricultural tradition and business in the Hudson Valley, professionals on building energy efficiency and funding for energy audits and retrofits, and more. The speakers came from farming, academic, municipal, managerial, corporate, and non-profit backgrounds, to name a few, and offered a wide perspective on the challenges and opportunities associated with educating and employing a "green" workforce in the 21st century. This event was co-sponsored by the Hudson Valley Regional Council, Environmental Finance Center, and the US Green Building Council Upstate Chapter.

Send to a Colleague
Upcoming EFC Events

Convening NYS Stakeholder on Agriculture and Water Quality
February 18, 2010

This event will bring together farmers, technical service providers, agency and funding representatives to discuss agricultural best management practices, supporting the agricultural sector and building sustainable partnerships.

Check our website soon for event location, details and registration information.

Technical Assistance Partnership Forum

February 25, 2010
Syracuse, NY

This program will include a tour of the new Syracuse Center of Excellence building and its green innovations. The program will also include funding and policy updates from the USDA RD, NYSDOS and NYS EFC. New NYS EFC President Matt Driscoll invited to attend.

Check our website for program updates and registration details.

The Right to Water
March 29-30, 2010
Syracuse, NY

The EFC is proud to co-sponsor The "Right to Water" conference,  an interdisciplinary and international conference to elucidate strategic possibilities for ensuring equitable access to water worldwide. This event will explore how universal calls for the right to water articulate with local historical and geographical contexts. The event will engage an interdisciplinary network of scholars and practitioners and highlight key debates via keynote lectures and papers presented by leading figures from the academic, policy and activist communities.Please contact  Dr. Farhana Sultana, with any queries at waterconference@syr.edu or visit the conference website for more information, submission deadlines and registration.

Smart Management for Small Communities:
Practical Resources for Governance

April 20-22, 2010
Blue Mountain Lake

Continuing in the EFC tradition, our annual conference at Minnowbrook Conference Center in Blue Mountain Lake in the Adirondacks will be focused on the needs of municipal leaders and will provide technical assistance, funding updates and practical skill-building sessions. Register soon on our website.

Send to a Colleague
Information Sessions
Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant:
Energy Project Implementation Funding
Sponsored by NYSERDA

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) will soon issue the Request for Proposals (RFP) for the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) Program which will provide funding for small municipalities to implement energy efficiency, renewable energy, efficient transportation systems, material conservation, and energy management personnel projects.  To apply for this program, municipalities will need an energy study/audit upon which to base their application.  It is strongly recommended that municipalities prepare for application by locating an existing energy study/audit or conducting an energy study/audit as soon as possible.  It can take several weeks for a study/audit to be completed.

For municipalities who pay the Systems Benefit Charge (SBC), there are NYSERDA programs that may be used to assist with obtaining an energy study/audit.  The SBC charge is paid by electric distribution customers of Central Hudson, Con Edison, NYSEG, National Grid, Orange and Rockland, and Rochester Gas and Electric.  Information on the following programs is available on
NYSERDA's website

Energy Audit Program
For facilities with less than $75,000 in annual electric bills, this program can identify effective cost-saving measures for buildings and facilities.
Flex Tech Program
 Applicants can select from a list of NYSERDA's pre-qualified contractors to perform an energy study. NYSERDA will provide a 50/50 cost share up to $500,000.
Technical Assistance Program
 Applicants can select their own contractor to perform an energy study.  NYSERDA will provide a 50/50 cost share up to $500,000 on selected studies over five years.

Municipalities who do not pay the SBC charge will need to contact their electric distribution provider for information on available assistance programs.  NYSERDA's clearinghouse website has links to New York Power Authority (NYPA) and Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) programs which may benefit local government.

 For more information on the EECBG, visit here.

The following workshops are also being held for technical assistance and questions about community eligibility for the program. No registration is necessary and all assistance is free. Contact Amy Santos at 518-253-1347 or by email at SantosA@pirnie.com
  • Albany Jan. 6 1:00 PM CDTC, One Park Place, Suite 102, Albany 12205
  • Bellport Jan. 8 10:00 AM Bellport Community Center, 4 Bell St., Bellport 11713
  • Binghamton Jan. 6 11:00 AM Town of Chenango Town Hall, Community Room, 1529 NYS Rt. 12, Binghamton 13901
  • Buffalo Jan. 8 12:00 PM Malcolm Pirnie, 50 Fountain Plaza, Suite 600, Buffalo 14202
  • Canton Jan. 7 10:00 AM Human Services Center Conference Room, 80 State Hwy 310, Canton 13617
  • Elizabethtown Jan. 11 1:00 PM Essex County Board of Supervisors Meeting Room, 7551 Court St., Elizabethtown 12932
  • Farmingdale Jan. 8 1:00 PM Molloy Suffolk Center, 7180 Republic Airport, Farmingdale 11735
  • New Paltz Jan. 8 1:30 PM New Paltz Community Center, 3 Veteran Drive, New Paltz 12561
  • Painted Post Jan. 7 10:00 AM Town of Riverside, Village Hall, 35 Stanton St., Painted Post 14870
  • Rochester Jan. 4 12:00 PM Ebenezer Watts Conference Center, 49 S. Fitzhugh St., Rochester 14614
  • Salamanca Jan. 7 1:00 PM Southern Tier West Regional Planning Board, 4039 Route 219, Suite 200, Salamanca 14779
  • Syracuse Jan. 5 1:00 PM 100 Clinton Square, Lower Level Conference Room, 126 N. Salina St., Syracuse 13202
  • Utica Jan. 7 1:00 PM Boehlet Center at Union Station, 321 Main St., Utica 13501
  • Watertown Jan. 6 1:00 PM Dulles State Office Building, 317 Washington St., 11th Floor Conference Room #4, Watertown 13601
  • White Plains Jan. 7 3:00 PM Malcolm Pirnie Learning Center, 104 Corporate Park Dr, White Plains 10604
Send to a Colleague
Watershed Plans: Protecting and Restoring Water Quality
NYS DOS Multi-media Package to Improve Water Quality in New York

watershed plans coverThe package aims to encourage and assist local governments, communities, and other partners to collaboratively protect and restore vital water resources throughout New York.

New York's watersheds are under threat from pollution, aging infrastructure, habitat loss and fragmentation, loss of agricultural and forestry land. Without an effective and coordinated program to prepare and implement watershed management plans, these problems will only get worse.  Effective watershed planning provides local governments and communities with the ability to restore impaired waters and protect high quality waters throughout their watersheds which will help sustain New York's natural communities and biological diversity for the benefit of present and future generations.

The package includes a motivational video, which showcases communities throughout the state successfully preparing and implementing their watershed plans; an interactive website, which provides technical information and links to additional resources; and a guidebook, which frames a flexible process for preparing and implementing watershed plans.

The guidebook covers community involvement, organizing an advisory committee, the role of consultants, gathering data, assessing land use and land cover, writing a characterization report, refining watershed goals, developing recommendations and preparing an implementation strategy, moving forward with capital improvement projects and strengthening local practices.
These multi-media packages are available for viewing and downloading on our website or at www.nyswaterfronts.com, or contact the EFC for the CD package.

Send to a Colleague
What are Agricultural Best Management Practices (Ag BMPs)?

With more than 36,000 farms in New York State it is important to ensure the environmental protection of neighboring water bodies and land. Ag BMPs are a set of guidelines to enable individual farm operators to implement the best available knowledge regarding farm maintenance. In an effort to reduce run-off, erosion, pollution, and waste, Ag BMPs both inform and empower farm operators with the latest techniques for maintaining crop and environmental health. BMPs are methods used by farmers to control the generation and delivery of pollutants from agricultural activities to Vermont's rivers, streams and lakes. The goal of BMPs is to reduce the amount of agricultural pollutants entering surface and ground waters. In an effort to preserve  New York's water systems, we outline the EPA's Core 4 system, a framework of farming techniques designed to make the most of our land while protecting our water resources. They include:

Conservation Tillage - leaving crop residue (plant materials from past harvests) on the soil surface reduces runoff and soil erosion, conserves soil moisture, helps keep nutrients and pesticides on the field, and improves soil, water, and air quality;
Crop Nutrient Management - fully managing and accounting for all nutrient inputs helps ensure nutrients are available to meet crop needs while reducing nutrient movements off fields. It also helps prevent excessive buildup in soils and helps protect air quality;
Pest Management - varied methods for keeping insects, weeds, disease, and other pests below economically harmful levels while protecting soil, water, and air quality;
Conservation Buffers - from simple grassed waterways to riparian areas, buffers provide an additional barrier of protection by capturing potential pollutants that might otherwise move into surface waters.

Irrigation Water Management - reducing nonpoint source pollution of ground and surface waters caused by irrigation systems;
Grazing Management - minimizing the water quality impacts of grazing and browsing activities on pasture and range lands;
Animal Feeding Operations (AFOs) Management - minimizing impacts of animal feeding operations and waste discharges through runoff controls, waste storage, waste utilization, and nutrient management;
Erosion and Sediment Control - conserving soil and reducing the mass of sediment reaching a water body, protecting both agricultural land and water quality and habitat.

For more information on Agricultural BMPs, take a look at the following resources:

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

The Watershed Agricultural Council

National Resource Conservation Service

New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets

Send to a Colleague
Governor  Paterson  Announces Environmental Facilities Corporation Nomination
On December 3, Governor  Paterson  announced the nomination of Matthew Driscoll to the position of President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the New York State Environmental Facilities Corporation (EFC).

Mr. Driscoll most recently served a second term as Mayor of the City of Syracuse, a position to which he was elected in 2001. During his time as mayor, Mr. Driscoll reformed city government and improved accountability through the use of the performance-based program SyraStat, which saved the City of Syracuse over $50 million dollars in the last eight years. He also diversified revenue flows, allowing Syracuse to maintain city services while freezing property taxes despite the economic downturn.
Mayor Driscoll's plan for energy conservation and environmental protection has made Syracuse a leader among cities in New York State. As mayor, he oversaw the $40 million dollar reconstruction of the Westcott Reservoir, the city's largest capital investment in water infrastructure since 1930. Upon completion, the project will result in the third largest covered concrete reservoir tanks in the world and will include a solar panel system which will provide nearly all the facility's power. In April, Syracuse became one of the initial municipalities in the State to take the "Climate Smart Communities Pledge" to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and lessen its carbon footprint in an effort to combat global climate change. In 2008, Syracuse was named the nation's 17th Greenest City by Popular Science Magazine.

Send to a Colleague
Interested in Project Funding? Are you signed up for the NYS Environmental Facilities Corporation listserv? 

If not, click here, and get on the list today!

  Send to a Colleague
EFC Logo
Environmental Finance Center
Serving our Community Through Outreach and Education

EFC Staff
efc staff
Please visit our website: efc.syracusecoe.org  or contact us at efc@syracusecoe.org