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Syracuse EFC Facilitates First Ever National Community Summit on Green Infrastructure...

Syracuse EFC Facilitates First Ever National Community Summit on Green Infrastructure

The first-ever national Community Summit on Green Infrastructure was held in Syracuse in October at the SUNY-ESF Gateway Center. The Summit brought together delegates from EPA-identified Green Infrastructure Partner Communities and Green Infrastructure Technical Assistance Communities, as well as other metropolitan areas making advancements in stormwater management across the country.The event was sponsored by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Onondaga County, New York and held at the State University of New York, College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY-ESF) in Syracuse, NY. It was coordinated and facilitated by the Syracuse Environmental Finance Center (EFC) and co-hosted by Syracuse University (SU), SUNY-ESF, the Syracuse Center of Excellence in Energy and Environmental Systems (SyracuseCoE), Onondaga Nation, and the New York State Environmental Facilities Corporation (NYS-EFC).

The goal for the Summit was to illustrate the role and value of green infrastructure (GI) in communities across the country, accelerating GI as a method of choice for stormwater management and taking the EPA-GI Community Partnership to the next level.

The two day summit was organized around five key thematic areas refined during numerous discussions with the EPA throughout the summer: green infrastructure project and program development, innovative financing approaches, operation and maintenance, performance monitoring and new technologies, and promoting adoption through public outreach and education. A dialogue was facilitated for each topic, focusing on the benefits, challenges, and opportunities that green infrastructure presents to different types of communities. Baltimore, Lancaster, Los Angeles, New York City, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh and others all played leadership roles throughout the event, presenting community case studies or panel remarks to provide benchmarks for discussions.

Several key EPA officials participated in the Summit, including Deputy Administrator Bob Perciasepe, who provided closing remarks on the first day; Acting Assistant Administrator for Water, Nancy Stoner; Special Advisor to the Administrator for Environmental Justice, Lisa Garcia; Region 2 Administrator, Judith Enck; National Green Infrastructure Coordinator, Chris Kloss; and Clean Water Division Director for Region 2, Joan Matthews. A press conference was held at the Summit wherein the EPA released its 2013 Green Infrastructure Strategic Agenda.

Observers in attendance included faculty and students from the Syracuse area, additional EPA officials, New York State representatives, local and regional governments, some members of the trade media, and national and local NGOs. Observers submitted written questions and ideas, all of which will be included in a final report.

The Summit was conceptualized by Matt Millea, Onondaga County's Deputy County Executive for Physical Services. It was modeled after programs such as the United Nations’ Environmental Program and the National Academy of Sciences’ National Conference on Science, Policy, and the Environment.

Syracuse EFC has released a summary report from the Summit, which provides conclusions and recommendations from dialogues on program development and project selection, innovative financing, operations and maintenance, performance, and promoting adoption.





Event Photography:

GI Bus Tour

Summit Proceedings

Press Conference

Bob Perciasepe's Symposium Address

Important Links:

Summit Agenda

Summit Invitation

Press Announcements:

October 17, 2013"U.S. EPA Invites Green Infrastructure Partner Communities from Around the Nation to Convene in Syracuse for Two Day Dialogue."

October 18, 2013 —  "EPA Deputy Administrator to Announce New Green Infrastructure National Stategy"

October 21, 2013 —  "Top EPA official in Syracuse to announce national drive for green infrastructure"


Matt Millea, Deputy County Executive, County of Onondaga
Matt Marko, Vice President, CH2M Hill, Inc.
Larry Coffman, Deputy Director, Prince George's County Department of Environmental Resources
Adel Hagekhalil, Assistant Director, Bureau of Sanitation, City of Los Angeles
Kevin Shafer, Executive Director, Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District


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