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Buffalo Launches Largest US EIB

Friday, March 6, 2020

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At the end of February, Mayor Byron W. Brown, of Buffalo, New York, announced during his 14th State of the City address that the city would be launching an Environmental Impact Bond.

The EIB is reported to the largest in the United Sates—totaling $30 million—and allows the City of Buffalo and the Buffalo Sewer Authority to capitalize on the Rain Check Buffalo program.

About the EIB Program

The EIB is reported to help define novel approaches to pay for high-impact projects based in part on the environmental, social and/or economic outcomes they generate.

“The City of Buffalo, will become the first in the nation to use an EIB to provide property owners the ability to fund green infrastructure projects and help to make our community more resilient to the impacts of climate change” said Brown.

“My administration does not view individual projects as activities in isolation, and instead views them as part of a network that functions as a system-wide improvement to our city’s water system.”

Kirkikis / Getty Images

At the end of February, Mayor Byron W. Brown, of Buffalo, New York, announced during his 14th State of the City address that the city would be launching an Environmental Impact Bond (EIB).

According to the city’s website, the endeavor will be the first time a city used the EIB to capitalize on a green infrastructure incentive program which targets the deployment of green infrastructure on private properties with large amounts of impervious surfaces.

In using the program to its advantage, the Buffalo Sewer Authority intends to implement green infrastructure to manage over 500 acres of impervious surface area to help eliminate the effects of combined sewer overflows in the city’s waterways.

Prior to the announcement, the city and the sewer authority were selected as winners of the Great Lakes Environmental Impact Bond Challenge through the P3GreatLakes Initiative by Quantified Ventures and Environmental Consulting & Technology, Inc. As a result, the city has created a public- private, and philanthropic partnership to tackle our stormwater challenge, ensure that our city’s waterways, are protected, and guarantee a more resilient Buffalo.

The partnership is supported by Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation and the Community Foundation of Greater Buffalo.

“We want to see the city transformed at the end of this process, in terms of stormwater management, equity, and innovation,” said Oluwole McFoy, General Manager of the Buffalo Sewer Authority. “Our Rain Check 2.0 Opportunity Report along with this EIB allows us to invest in our neighborhoods, increase green jobs and economic prosperity for our residents while directly addressing climate change.”

Moving forward, Quantified Ventures intends to build on its previous success in constructing green infrastructure EIBs in other cities as well. Already the organization has aided Washington, D.C., with cost-effectiveness of green verses grey infrastructure and Atlanta with mitigation, access to greenspace and workforce development opportunities.

“Our foundation is excited to support the implementation of the City of Buffalo’s Rain Check 2.0 program,” said Jim Boyle, Vice President of Programs and Communications for the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation.

“These types of projects provide sustainable solutions that can reduce flooding, improve water quality and have a wide range of economic, environmental and public health benefits. Proactively incorporating these types of solutions in new developments, as well as the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Centennial Park, highlight the City of Buffalo’s strategic approach to address some of the effects of climate change.”


Tagged categories: Funding; Government; Grants; Green Infrastructure; Infrastructure; Infrastructure; NA; non-potable water; North America; potable water; Program/Project Management; Stormwater

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