Green NYC

Environmental Protection

Mike Bloomberg made environmental protection a top priority, launching the nation’s first local program to reclaim brownfields and restoring 146 acres of wetlands. During his tenure, the City also purchased and preserved nearly 90,000 acres of rural land to protect the quality of its water supply.

Nation's first program to reclaim brownfields
Began Nation's first program to reclaim brownfields.
NYC's watershed
Purchased nearly 90,000 acres of land in the City's watershed to protect the City's water supply. 
Restored 146 acres of wetlands
Restored 146 acres of wetlands.

Progress: Environmental Protection

LONG TERM PLANNING

A Stronger More Resilient New York: Following Hurricane Sandy, Mayor Bloomberg created the Special Initiative for Rebuilding and Resiliency (SIRR) to create a more resilient New York City, with a long-term focus on preparing for and protecting against the impacts of climate change. A final report, “A Stronger More Resilient New York,” presented recommendations both for rebuilding the communities impacted by Sandy and increasing the resilience of infrastructure and buildings citywide.

Created PlaNYC: Released in 2007, PlaNYC was an unprecedented effort to prepare the City for one million more residents, strengthen our economy, combat climate change, and enhance the quality of life for all New Yorkers. The Plan brought together over 25 City agencies to work toward the vision of a greener, greater New York.

RECLAIMING BROWNFIELDS

Nation's First Brownfields Program: The Bloomberg administration created the nation’s first municipal brownfield program and reduced the average permit time for remediation projects.

SPEED: An online portal, the Searchable Property Environmental E-Database, was created to enable users to search properties in New York City and view government environmental information was the first of its kind in the nation.

GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE

Investment: More than $9 billion was invested to reduce discharges and improve harbor water quality.

Green Infrastructure Plan: The Bloomberg administration launched a comprehensive, 20-year effort to reduce combined sewer overflows (CSO) and improve water quality in the City’s most impaired waterways in part through $2.4 billion in innovative run-off controls and other infrastructure. The plan is expected to reduce CSO volume from 30 billion gallons per year to 18 billion by 2045.

Green Infrastructure Grants: To support private investment in innovative storm water management practices on private property, the City created an $11.5 million grant program.

Amended Consent Order: In 2012, the City reached an agreement with the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) under which the City will invest an estimated $2.5 billion of public and private funding over the next 18 years to install green infrastructure. The Order will save the City $1.4 billion while also building projects that will beautify the City and help clean the air in addition to improving water quality.

CSO Detention Facilities: In 2011, the City completed the Paerdegat Basin and Alley Creek CSO detention facilities, which have a combined capacity to store 25 million gallons of combined wastewater and reduce CSO discharges in those watersheds by 70% and 54%, respectively.

Restored Wetlands: 177 acres of wetlands were restored in collaboration with State and Federal partners since 2002.

PROTECTING WATER SUPPLY

Watershed: The Bloomberg administration purchased nearly 94,000 acres of land in the City’s watershed to protect the City’s water supply.

Renewed and Maintained the City’s Filtration Avoidance Determination: This action saved the City an estimated $10 billion. 

Croton Water Filtration Project: The plant, built by the Bloomberg administration, will filter up to 290 million gallons of water a day, and will add crucial capacity to the City’s water supply – allowing the Delaware Aqueduct to undergo repairs.

No. 3 Water Tunnel: The state-of-the-art No. 3 Water Tunnel went into service in October 2013. The new tunnel improved redundancy of NYC’s water supply. The Bloomberg administration committed $2.7 billion to the project – more than the previous five administrations combined.

ENERGY

Greenhouse Gas Emissions: The Bloomberg administration set a goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions for City-owned buildings 30% by 2017, and put the City ahead of schedule to meet it.

Retrofits: 153 energy-efficiency retrofits of City-owned buildings were completed as part of the City’s commitment to reduce City government greenhouse gas emissions 30% by 2017. This amounted to over $6.4 million in energy cost savings and 39.8 electricity savings (KWH) annually.

Greener, Greater Building Plan: Energy efficiency initiatives in large existing buildings undertaken by the Bloomberg administration will reduce GHG emissions by 5%, and generate a net savings of $7 billion for energy customers.

Green Codes Task Force: The Task Force’s 29 recommendations were enacted and will reduce GHG emissions by almost 5%.

Solar: The NYC Solar Map was created along with five Solar Empowerment Zones. These zones are areas where installing solar energy systems will provide the greatest benefits to the electric distribution system, and home and building owners in these areas are eligible for free data monitoring systems among other benefits.

Resiliency of the Electric Grid: The Bloomberg administration advocated that regulatory measures be implemented to ensure that in the event of a blackout, the most critical in-city power plants retain the ability to restart themselves without the need for any external power sources.

Solar Energy at City-owned Sites: In 2013, New York City produced about 20 megawatts of solar energy, which is about 20 times the amount the city did when the Bloomberg administration launched PlaNYC in 2007.

Newtown Creek Renewable Gas Project: National Grid and New York City Department of Environmental Protection worked together to deliver renewable gas from the largest waste water treatment plant in New York City. This was one of the first projects in the United States to directly inject renewable gas into the distribution system by utilizing digester gas from a waste water treatment plant.

Supported New Natural Gas Transmission Infrastructure: Despite growing demand, New York City hadn't had a new major direct interstate gas transmission line built in over 40 years. To meet the need, New Jersey and New York supported construction of the New Jersey/New York pipeline which runs through two locations on Staten Island back through New Jersey and into Gansevoort Pier. The Spectra Pipeline began operation in early November 2013.

Solar Energy: A state-of-the-art solar power station at Freshkills Park will produce enough energy to power more than 2,000 homes. The station increases New York City’s renewable energy capacity by half.

AIR QUALITY

Cleanest Air Quality Levels in More Than 50 Years: Between 2008 and 2013, the levels of sulfur dioxide (SOx) in the City’s air dropped by 69 percent, and between 2007 and 2013, the level of soot pollution (PM2.5) dropped by 23 percent. The cleaner air enjoyed by New Yorkers annually prevented 800 deaths 2,000 emergency room visits and hospitalizations from lung and cardiovascular diseases in 2013, compared to 2008.

#4 and #6 Heating Oil: Regulations were enacted to phase out #4 and #6 heating oil, which are responsible for more emissions of particulate matter (PM) than all cars and trucks combined.

Clean Heat Program: This program accelerated voluntary conversion of buildings to cleaner heating fuel.

Mayor’s Carbon Challenges: The Bloomberg administration launched voluntary programs to assist the private and nonprofit sectors in reducing their GHG emissions by at least 30% over the next ten years. Participants included corporations, many major universities, and hospitals.

RECYCLING

Recycling Expansion: The City’s recycling program was expanded to include all rigid plastics for the first time, the largest expansion of the program in 25 years.

Organics Collection Pilot: The first large scale effort to recycle organics in the City’s history was launched in 2013.

Recycling Facility: The Bloomberg administration invested $50 million in a new Municipal Recycling Facility at the South Brooklyn Marine Terminal. The new facility adopted sustainable design practices to minimize environmental impact and enables much of the City’s recyclables to travel to the facility via waterways, displacing 150,000 annual truck trips and thereby reducing street congestion.