Recently through a program called the GROW Program, ALCOSAN awarded the approximately $9 million in grants to support source reduction and green infrastructure projects throughout their service area. This program is a good first step towards developing a region-wide, green first approach to our region’s sewer overflow and stormwater problems.
However, these investments are only the first step and a drop in the bucket in what will be the largest public works project our region has ever seen. In order for a green-first plan to be successful region-wide, ALCOSAN’s GROW program must be part of a scientific study that expands on the PWSA Citywide Green-First plan, they must increase the program’s funding to a total of at least $50 million in the next year, and they must remove the cap of $1 million in order to allow for larger and potentially more effective projects.
Our region has the opportunity to significantly invest in green solutions that will not only reduce combined sewer overflows but will also reduce flooding, fight climate change, and revitalize our communities. To have the most impact, ALCOSAN must quickly expand on PWSA’s green first study that addresses these problems holistically on a watershed level and invest more funds into green infrastructure projects.
As ALCOSAN continues to improve and expand the GROW program, they should also seek input from ratepayers and municipal officials who are paying for this important regional investment.
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