New York Launches Green Infrastructure Plan to Reduce Sewer Overflows

Last October New York City launched a Green Infrastructure Plan that aims to reduce combined sewer overflows, which come after heavy rainstorms, by 40 percent. According to the city’s plan, posted at, the city will invest in green roofs, more planting in public spaces, and more porous surfaces for sidewalks and parking lots (similar to what Egg Harbor has done to curb runoff into its beach).

These all represent cheaper and less destructive alternatives to creating more costly infrastructure like treatment plants, pipes and sewers.

New York’s plan begs the question of what Milwaukee and Chicago are doing to manage their overflow problems that result in the discharge of huge amounts of raw sewage into Lake Michigan.