Developing a Regional Sustainability Plan for Central New York
The Central New York Regional Planning and Development Board (CNY RPDB) is leading the local effort to develop a regional sustainability plan for Central New York. The CNY RPDB is a public agency that was established in 1966 by Cayuga, Cortland, Madison, Onondaga, and Oswego Counties under the provisions of Article 12B of the New York State General Municipal Law. The CNY RPDB is governed by a board of directors that is appointed by its five member counties. Financial support for the agency is provided by member county contributions, state and federal grants, and contract service revenue.
This planning effort will:
- Assess current greenhouse gas emissions and energy use, along with available natural resources and economic assets, liabilities, and opportunities
- Set sustainability targets for energy supplies, transportation, waste and water management, land use, housing, agriculture, economic development, and open space
- Develop a sustainability plan outlining the short- and long-term actions our region can take to achieve targets and goals
- Prioritize eligible projects that can apply for Cleaner, Greener Communities implementation funding.
This effort will enable the region to effectively align a comprehensive regional sustainability plan with the CNY Regional Economic Council’s Five year Strategic Plan: 2012-2016. Vision CNY will also be designed to incorporate sustainable planning efforts which are currently underway in Central New York at the county and local municipal levels. Work on this plan was initiated in June 2012 and is scheduled for completion by January 2013.
The Cleaner, Greener Communities Program
The Cleaner, Greener Communities Program was announced by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo in his 2011 State of the State address. Planning teams are partnering with public and private experts across a wide range of fields, along with community residents, to lead the development of regional sustainability plans and to implement the projects that will significantly improve the economic and environmental health of their areas. This effort will guide integrated, sustainable solution — from statewide investments to regional and local decision-making on land use, housing, transportation, infrastructure, energy, and environmental practices — to improve the quality of life in NYS.
Funding for Cleaner, Greener Communities is administered by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). NYSERDA, a public benefit corporation, offers objective information and analysis, innovative programs, technical expertise and funding to help New Yorkers increase energy efficiency, save money, use renewable energy, and reduce their reliance on fossil fuels. NYSERDA professionals work to protect our environment and create clean-energy jobs. NYSERDA has been developing partnerships to advance innovative energy solutions in New York since 1975.
Through this program, NYSERDA will provide $100 million in funding to help New York’s 10 regions establish sustainability plans and adopt smart development practices. NYSERDA will administer the funding to regions through a two-phase competitive grant process:
- Phase I provides nearly $10 million in funding to regional planning teams to create comprehensive sustainability plans or to expand the scope of existing sustainability plans. Up to $1 million per region is being awarded. Grants are awarded to a municipality (county, city, town, village, Indian tribe or nation within New York State), acting on behalf of a consortium of other municipalities located in one of the 10 regions defined by the NYS Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) program. Phase I of the program was launched in 2012.
- Phase II provides up to $90 million toward regional capital projects that support the regional sustainability goals identified during the planning process, and provide the greatest opportunity to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, save energy and deploy renewable energy, while improving the economic and environmental health of our communities. Phase II is expected to launch in 2013.