Cleaner Greener Communities
The plan is now available at : www.nyserda.ny.gov/Statewide-Initiatives/Cleaner-Greener-Communities.aspx
In 2012, Governor Cuomo and NYSERDA (New York State Energy Research and Development Authority) announced the Cleaner Greener Communities program, which focused on funding regional sustainability plans throughout the state with a goal of reducing car- bon emissions and other environmental concerns. For Long Island, Vision partnered with the Town of North Hempstead, the Sustain- ability Institute of Molloy College and the Community Development Corp. of Long Island to develop a sustainability plan tailored to Long Island. AECOM and RPA were also hired as consultants.
The team reached out to local stakeholders, the Smart Growth Working Group, and Clean Energy Leadership Task Force to create five unique working groups. These groups met three times to develop a list of indicators that measured progress and strategies, calculated possible improvements, and found realistic, but ambitious targets to reach. The working groups focused on water, waste, energy, housing & economic development, and land use & transportation. Meanwhile, Vision and the rest of the team collected information, forming a baseline of local plans already in place and others previously developed in order to avoid recreating work that had already been done. Vision reviewed over 200 regional and local plans as part of this process.
Once the framework was complete, three public outreach meetings were held to get input. These meetings gave a process review, outlined goals and strategies, and asked for input or concerns regarding the plan. Meetings were held in Nassau, western Suffolk, and eastern Suffolk so as to reach people from all areas of the island. Concerns expressed included ceding land use control to Albany and general concerns about density and affordable housing.
The final plan was submitted to NYSERDA for approval in April, completing phase 1. Phase 2 is $100 million in statewide funding for project implementation to help reach sustainability goals from the regional plans.