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Welcome to the latest edition of the Syracuse University Environmental Finance Center (Syracuse EFC) eNews! Inside, you'll find recent news, events, funding opportunities, and publications from Syracuse EFC, EPA, and other partners. 
Call for Proposals: Municipal Mini-grants for Asset Management Inventory Development

With support from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Syracuse EFC has released its 2015 Call for Proposals: Municipal Mini-grants for Asset Management Inventory Development. 


The purpose of this call for proposals is to provide rural municipalities with additional resources needed to fully conduct a water or wastewater Asset Management (AM) inventory. Syracuse EFC seeks proposals that clearly define a need for such resources and indicate how the AM inventory will further the community's development of a full Asset Management program.  

Deadline: 5:00PM, January 16, 2015.  

Contact: Brad DeFrees at

Learn More 

"Trash Free Waters" Planning Meeting Held in NYC

On October 30, more than 80 people participated in a critical dialogue surrounding the issue of trash in New York and New Jersey waterways at the first meeting of the Trash Free Waters Partnership in New York City.

The initiative will build off the goals of the national Trash Free Waters program to provide solutions to reduce trash in waterways locally in New York State and New Jersey. The group discussed potential strategies on how to achieve objectives, including regulatory tools, public-private partnerships, education and outreach, and other collaborative models. An action plan was created with short-term and long-term action items, and working groups were formed to address specific parts of the plan.

Syracuse EFC Executive Director Mark Lichtenstein facilitated the meeting, with opening remarks provided by Judith Enck, Regional Administrator of EPA Region 2, and Venetia Lannon, NYC Regional Director for the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

Syracuse EFC will release a summary report of key strategies and outcomes from the meeting

Learn More

Second Annual Community Summit on Green Infrastructure Held in Cleveland

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District (NEORSD), and the Great Lakes Environmental Finance Center hosted EPA's Green Infrastructure Community Partners and technical assistance recipients in Cleveland, Ohio on October 26-28, 2014 for the second annual Community Summit on Green Infrastructure.

Building on the success of last year's inaugural National Community Green Infrastructure Summit in Syracuse, the event advanced community dialogue on green infrastructure with peer-to-peer exchange and mentoring. Dialogues were focused on reducing stormwater volume to control sewer overflows, creating effective stormwater management opportunities, maximizing multiple benefits, and building resilient communities and infrastructure.
Syracuse EFC Releases Community Needs Survey Results to Guide Technical Assistance Programs for Rural Municipalities 

In 2014, the Syracuse University Environmental Finance Center (EFC) conducted a survey of village mayors, town supervisors, town clerks, superintendents, and planning and zoning board members to gauge the level of awareness, understanding, and needs that rural communities have regarding rural smart growth, water infrastructure, stormwater management, land-use planning, agricultural districts and available resources.

The ever-changing needs and priorities of New York's rural communities means that technical assistance programs must be agile in order to continue providing relevant and appropriate resources. The results of this survey will guide the direction of various and statewide initiatives for rural communities.  
Workshops, Trainings & Webinars
Save the Date for Syracuse EFC's Annual Local Leadership Conference | April 21-23, 2015  
Upcoming Webinars for Small Water Systems 

The Environmental Finance Center Network is offering a free webinars for small water systems under round two of its Smart Management for Small Water Systems Program, offered under a cooperative agreement with the US EPA.
The webinars are designed for water systems serving 10,000 or fewer customers, though systems of any size are welcome to participate.

For questions about whether credit is available for a webinar: AWWA will request pre-approval from the state licensing agencies for the webinar. AWWA recommends that you check with your licensing agency to learn about its criteria, rules, and what you need to do in order to receive credit for your attendance. It is your responsibility to verify this information with your licensing agency. For assistance contact

-Each viewer must register individually
-Group rosters will not be accepted

Learn More

Panel on Wastewater Management for Local and Elected Representatives     

December 11, 2014 | 12:45pm-4:30pm   

Location: Syracuse Center of Excellence, 727 E. Washington St., Syracuse 

Attendance is limited to 25. Register now!  

Hosted by: NYWEA and Syracuse EFC   


Dinner will be provided at 4:30pm.  


Topics Will Include:

- Ten Steps to Protect & Maintain Your Wastewater Utility

- Wastewater Treatment Plants: What a good Asset Management Plan can do for your community

- Public Education - So Important & Often Forgotten

- The Importance of a Stormwater Management Plan

- State Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (SPDES) Compliance System and You!                     

- Finances Associated with Wastewater Systems

Save the Date: Community-Based Composting Summit: Lessons Learned Across New York State

March 5, 2015
Cornell Boathouse at Marist College
3399 North Road | Poughkeepsie, NY 12601
Hosted by: NYSAR3, NYS DEC, Syracuse EFC  

The goal of this Summit is to connect small-medium scale composters throughout NYS, provide tips and tools to support existing community composting as well as encourage new programs throughout the state, and develop action items to continue to foster community composting around the state.   
Tools & Publications
Enhancing Sustainable Communities with Green Infrastructure

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has released a new report, Enhancing Sustainable Communities with Green Infrastructure, to help communities develop a vision and a plan for green infrastructure that can transform their neighborhoods and bring multiple benefits.


Download the Report  

Urban Forests and Urban Tree Use: Opportunities on Local, State, and National and International Scales

Published by Dovetail Partners, this report focuses on urban tree use as one of the opportunities being explored in innovative ways by urban and community foresters and arborists.
Funding Opportunities 
Science to Achieve Results (STAR) Program- Water Quality Benefits

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is seeking applications proposing research to advance knowledge of how changes in water quality, including incremental or step improvements, can be valued at appropriate spatial scales using advanced non-use valuation methods for the Nation's inland fresh water small streams, lakes and rivers, estuaries, coastal waters, and the Great Lakes.

Deadline: January 14, 2014
Available Funding: Up to a total of $800,000 for regular awards and up to a total of $400,000 for early career awards

Learn More 

Five Star & Urban Waters Restoration Program 2015 Request for Proposals

The EPA's Five Star & Urban Waters Restoration Grant Program seeks to develop community capacity to sustain local natural resources for future generations by providing modest financial assistance to diverse local partnerships for wetland, riparian, forest and coastal habitat restoration, urban wildlife conservation, stormwater management as well as outreach, education and stewardship. 

Available Funding: $2,100,000 total 

Deadline: February 3, 2014  


Learn More 

In This Issue
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Syracuse EFC in the Caribbean News 
EPA Reducing Air Pollution from Diesel Buses in Puerto Rico

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is supporting local efforts to reduce air pollution in the greater metropolitan area of San Juan, Puerto Rico by providing more than $208,000 for the Puerto Rico Metropolitan Bus Authority to retrofit 17 transit buses with diesel emission reduction devices. The project will cut emissions of harmful fine particles, which are linked to health problems, including asthma, lung and heart disease. 
About Us
The Syracuse University Environmental Finance Center (Syracuse EFC) facilitates the development of sustainable and resilient communities throughout US EPA Region 2 (New Jersey, New York, Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, and eight tribal nations), across the US, and internationally. 
Located at the Syracuse University Center for Sustainable Community Solutions, Syracuse EFC enhances the administrative and financial capacities of state and local government officials, nonprofit organizations, and private sectors to make change toward improved environmental infrastructure and quality of life.


Syracuse EFC Staff

Ana V. Arache

Project Assistant

Lydia Brinkley

Research Specialist

Laura Cardoso  

Program Coordinator


Brad DeFrees

Program Coordinator

Khristopher Dodson

Associate Director

Caitlin Eger

Staff Scientist 

Laura Flagg
Project Assistant

Kathy Forrest

Budget Administrator


Kaira T. Fuentes

Project Assistant  


Katie Kayajanian 

 Project Assistant   


Mark Lichtenstein

Executive Director   


Stephanie Anderson Morales
Program Assistant  


Lisa Ruggero

Project Coordinator 


Brandon Strouse  

Communications Assistant


Lucy Tomkiewicz  

Communications Assistant


Mandy Westerdahl

Communications Manager

Melissa Young

Assistant Director

Please visit our website, 


Syracuse University Environmental Finance Center (Syracuse EFC) programs and projects are supported in part by funding from USDA-RD and EPA.

In accordance with Federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture policy, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, religion, sex, and familial status.  

To file a complaint of discrimination, write USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence avenue, S.W. Washington, D.C. 20250-9410 or call (800) 795-3272 (voice) or (202) 720-6582 (TDD).   


To reach us via the NYS Relay Service, please dial 7-1-1. If you are calling from within Syracuse University, please dial 800-662-1220. Click here to download instructions on how to use this service. 

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