Upcoming EFC Events 

Revitalizing Our Core - including a Schenectady Walkability Tour
May 27, 2010
Schenectady, NY

This program will include a funding panel with representatives from USDA, NYSEFC, NYSDOH, NYSDOS and NYSOCR. There will also be a facilitated networking discussion and a guided tour of the revitalized downtown Schenectady.

Smart Management for Small Communities: Practical Resources for Governance
June 2, 2010
Bear Mountain, NY
Hosted at Bear Mountain Conference Center, this conference will include updates from state and federal agency representatives on funding updates and opportunities, and offer sessions including asset management, alternative strategies in drinking water management, wastewater management, and solid waste management.

Enhanced Water Utility Management
June 8, Hightstown, NJ;  June 9, Brooklawn, NJ; & June 10, Wharton NJ
These one-day courses are designed to provide small and medium-sized water systems with information about water system management and asset and financial planning in order to provide operations and public works managers with the knowledge to ensure long-term viability and system stability. Instruction will be provided by Joe Durocher and Mike Kenney of the NJDEP's Bureau of Safe Drinking Water as well as from Melissa Young of the EFC. Registration for the course is free of charge. Contact Mike Kenney  - NJDEP -Bureau of Safe Drinking Water for more details.

Asset Management 101
June 15, 2010
1:30 - 6:30pm
Center for Regional Excellence
4039 Route 219, Salamanca, NY

This event is designed to train municipal water and wastewater systems operators on the short-term and long-term benefits of incorporating asset management planning into their operations as a means to enabling long-term financial and operational sustainability. The program will include information, training and tools appropriate for operators and public officials. Email Melissa Young or call 315-443-8848 for more details. The registration fee is $25. Register here

Asset Management Tools Training
July 15th 8:30am - 1:30pm
Center for Regional Excellence
4039 Route 219, Salamanca, NY

This event will be a continuation of the June 15th Asset Management 101 training. It will provide an in-depth exploration of computer-based tools including EPA's CUPSS as well as EFC's Financial Dashboard and others. For more information contact Khris Dodson or call 315-443-8818.The registration fee is $25. Register here

The 10th Annual Symposium on Environmental & Energy Systems
Restoring Sustainable, Healthy Communities
September 27-28, 2010, Syracuse, NY
More information to come soon. 
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Recent EFC Events
April 20-22, 2010
Blue Mountain Lake, NY

This three-day conference at Minnowbrook Conference Center focused on the needs of municipal leaders by providing technical assistance, funding updates and practical skill-building sessions. Sessions focused on topics such as asset management and meeting facilitation. There was also a co-funding panel including the Environmental Facilities Corporation, USDA RD, NYSERDA and others.

May 1, 2010
Jane's Walk - Syracuse

Jane's Walk is a walking tour that takes place in more than 60 Jane's Walkcities to promote walkable communities. Our route in Syracuse started at the SyracuseCoE headquarters and went to Hanover Square, Clinton Square, Armory Square, Columbus Circle, Forman Park, and back, including stops at a number of cultural, historical, and commercial locations. The event attracted roughly 15 attendees including students, professors, neighborhood representatives and citizens, all of whom were very engaged in the discussion on walkability. The attendees' thoughts and comments will be organized and submitted to appropriate city officials to begin a dialogue between city officials and residents on walkability in Syracuse.

EFC Announces Agriculture and Water Quality Mini-grant Recipients  

Analysis of New York State Agricultural Environmental Management Program Results
NYS Soil & Water Conservation Committee in partnership with Schenectady County SWCD

The Agricultural Environmental Management (AEM) process is New York's tool for measuring environmental stewardship opportunities on farms across the State. Support for the AEM Program has grown at a far greater rate than the information technology system used to track and report the information collected. Under this project, the AEM database system will be enhanced, information will be updated and gaps in information collected will be identified. Past and current information will be integrated into a GIS database that will allow the AEM Program accomplishments to be overlaid with impaired watersheds, resulting in the identification of future resource focus areas. Incorporating upgrades to the existing AEM database and integrating them into a GIS database will allow the State to accurately report and prioritize funding needs for agricultural operations on a watershed basis. This information will be used to determine where additional financial and technical resources are needed to meet the water quality goals of New York State.

Agricultural Land Use Effects on Water Quality in the Skaneateles Lake Watershed:
A Habitat Assessment Using Benthic Macroinvertebrates

Dr. Russ Briggs, SUNY ESF

The goal of this research is to develop a monitoring protocol to assess impacts of agricultural land use on stream integrity in the Skaneateles Lake watershed. Stream integrity is a function of hydraulic characteristics, water chemistry, and benthic macroinvertebrate populations. Benthic macroinvertebrates serve as ecological indicators of stream water quality. Relative ease of sampling and identification of macroinvertebrates combined with their ubiquitous nature in the streams of Skaneateles Lake serves as an important drinking water supply for the Syracuse metropolitan area. Monitoring water quality is an important component of watershed management, and development of a monitoring protocol will contribute to efficient monitoring.

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Cleaning Toxins From Our Water:
Special Microbes at Work in a Constructed Wetland

Cutting edge technology that will provide a solution to a dangerous problem developing in America's ground and drinking water is being tested in a tiny Central New York village with the help of the State University of New York's College of Environmental Science and Forestry.

The problem is what to do about pharmaceuticals and carcinogens leeching into the nation's water after being flushed down the drain. These dangerous materials have to go somewhere and scientists say they are affecting the well being of humans and wildlife. Everyday pain relievers, even birth control pills, are causing mutations in frogs and are dangerous to other species, they say.

The technology that can solve the problem brought ESF faculty to a meeting with New York State Environmental Facilities Corporation President and CEO Matt Driscoll and the Village of Minoa. Those attending toured the village's wastewater treatment plant on Wednesday, May 19.

ESF Professors Nomura and Johnson unveiled a three-piece plan they say will ultimately solve the dilemma of toxins in America's water, and provide energy at the same time. Additionally, they say the solutions can be accomplished successfully in every municipal wastewater treatment plant, just as experiments are showing in Minoa.

Nomura explained how special microbes introduced into the treatment process have already successfully eliminated 32 percent of the ibuprofen and acetaminophen in Minoa's water. He predicts that a polymer-capturing device invented at ESF will further reduce pharmaceuticals and carcinogens to zero.

Add to this, research done by Johnson that will use algae and organic wastes to provide power for the treatment facilities, making them fully self-sufficient, or "sustainable." Johnson says leftover food from schools and other institutions can be used at the plants to make methane to fuel vehicles and electricity to run the plant. "My preliminary estimate is that 1500 pounds a day of food will produce 5,000 KwH of electricity per month," he said, noting the process will recover about 25 percent of electricity; eventually getting to the point of recovering all expenses for the plant.

The professors say the whole operation uses no power, making it enticing for any locale that needs a low cost energy source and a method of ensuring clean water, such as facilities operated by the military or located in Third World countries.
ESF has partnered on this project with a local engineering company, Antec, as well as the Village of Minoa.

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ESF Outreach Summer Program 

During the past two years, Introduction to Green Entrepreneurship has served 55 students from 36 high schools in 12 New York State counties.  This year, ESF Outreach offers two sections in order to meet student demand:

Monday, July 26 - Friday, July 30 (Section 1)
Monday, August 9 - Friday, August 13 (Section 2)
Learn more about the course, scholarship opportunities and register:  www.esf.edu/outreach/green
Call 315-470-6817 with questions.

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NYSERDA Awards $11.3 million for 25 Innovative Renewable Energy
and Energy Storage Projects

The New York State Energy Research and Development  Authority recently announced the award of $11.3 million to help develop and commercialize 25 innovative renewable energy and energy storage projects.  The NYSERDA funding supports technological advances that could benefit a variety of applications including mass transit, farming, small- and large-scale electric generators, hand-held electric devices, and others. 

To finance the projects, NYSERDA will use $4 million of funds from proceeds from the Regional Greenhouse Gas cap and trade auctions, and $7 million of Systems Benefit Charge funds.  These resources will leverage $11 million of private sector investment to bring total funding for these projects to $22 million. Read more here.
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Fiscal Year 2009 National Water Program
Best Practices and End of Year Report
The EPA Office of Water has released the FY 2009 National Water Program Best Practices and End of Year Report.  The Report describes the progress made in fiscal year 2009 toward each of the 15 National Water Program subobjectives identified in the FY 2009 National Water Program Guidance and the EPA 2006-2011 Strategic Plan.  Four key elements in the Report are: an overview of performance for all FY 2009 National Water Program measures; a description of innovative approaches and best practices in program implementation; performance highlights and management challenges for each subobjective; and an appendix of data for environmental and program-related measures, including national and regional data (where available).  The Report and supporting documents can be found at: http://www.epa.gov/water/waterplan/fy09.html
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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!

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