To many Towns, closed municipal landfills can be an eyesore, but also a financial burden, as they require significant monitoring and oversight given the environmental risks they pose. These closed landfills are often large open areas of low vegetation with little potential uses given the environmental factors. One emerging opportunity for municipalities is to develop renewable energy facilities, in the form of solar arrays or wind turbines, on them. The renewable energy facilities have the obvious environmental benefit of a resource source of electricity, but they can also have an economic benefit to the municipality through the production of this energy on a site that may not have been used for another function.
Norfolk recently aided the Town of Norfolk in developing a 1.6 MW solar generation project. The project was the first solar landfill project permitted through the MA DEP Central Region. Construction was finished in the summer of 2012.
To learn more about renewable energy facilities available to your Town, please see our municipal services page , the MA DEP's renewable energy on closed landfills page, or contact Wayne Perry, P.E. at (508) 747-7900 extension 193.
More often than not, environmental cleanups pose a significant financial challenge for clients. At Norfolk, we have found it helpful to meet with clients and stakeholders to help them identify and pursue the best financing options available. From state brownfields tax credits and federal tax deductions to UST reimbursement funds and insurance policies, Norfolk can help you find the funding best suited to you and your project. If a loan is what you need, Norfolk can help explain the situation to your financier to take some of the uncertainty out of lending.
Some examples of how we work with our clients include;
Norfolk recently helped the owner of a former gasoline station petition for reinstatement of eligibility for 1.5 million dollars in reimbursement funds.
We have helped municipalities identify, pursue, and receive millions of dollars in grants.
An elderly homeowner was faced with cleaning up a serious home heating oil spill. She had exhausted all funding options but was ineligible for "financial inability" status from the state and had been denied a bank loan. Norfolk worked with her bank to quantify the financial risks and structure the cleanup project such that she could tap the equity in her home to clean up the property.
Several of our clients who have financed their cleanups "out of pocket" have been pleasantly surprised to find that they could recover 25 to 50% of their cleanup costs through tax credits.
When a client had a leak from a gasoline tank, their insurance carrier initially denied coverage. Norfolk worked with the client, insurance agent, and attorney to provide supporting justification for the claim, such that the insurance carrier agreed to provide coverage, saving the client nearly $100,000.
If you have questions about how to pay for your environmental cleanup or if you have already paid for an environmental cleanup and would like to find out if you might be eligible for a tax credit, please contact Jon Kitchen at (508) 747-7900 x154.
You can also read more about our site remediation and brownfield redevelopment services by following the links.
Norfolk is an environmental consulting and engineering firm which provides technical advice on the cleanup of hazardous waste sites. While Norfolk helps clients identify funding we do not provide tax, legal, or financial advice.
Find out if you qualify for a Brownfields Tax Credit!
The EPA wants cities and towns to address a new strategy to improve water quality in the US by reducing stormwater runoff. Stormwater runoff pollutes the nation’s lakes, rivers, streams, creeks and coastal waters, degrades the aquatic habitats and causes downstream flooding. This new strategy aims at promoting use of green infrastructure for environmental and economic benefits: green infrastructure is a cost-effective, sustainable and environmentally-friendly approach to wet weather management. Using green infrastructure can be useful to mitigate overflows from combined and separate sewers, and to reduce stormwater pollution by encouraging implementation in cities and municipal programs.
How does green infrastructure work?
- It treats rain when it falls, captures and filters pollutants by passing stormwater through soils and retaining it on site.
- Stormwater is reused to maintain or restore natural hydrologies.
- It keeps polluting stormwater from entering sewer systems: by increasing the amount of pervious ground cover, green infrastructure techniques increase stormwater infiltration rates, thereby reducing the volume of runoff entering our combined or separate sewer systems, and ultimately the lakes, rivers, and streams.
Some tools used are green roofs, permeable materials, subsurface infiltration, raingardens and rain harvesting systems for non-potable uses such as toilet flushing and landscape irrigation, porous pavement, infiltration planters, trees and tree boxes.
How does green infrastructure benefit the environment?
Green infrastructure can produce environmental, economic, and human health benefits. The benefits of green infrastructure are particularly accentuated in urban and suburban areas where green space is limited and environmental damage is more extensive. Green infrastructure benefits include:
- A decrease in water pollution by a decrease in stormwater runoff volumes
- It improves Human Health : an increasing number of studies suggest that vegetation and green space (two key components of green infrastructure) can have a positive impact on human health.
- It increases economic activity by creating jobs, and neighborhood revitalization
- It induces energy savings with reductions in heating and cooling costs. For example, green roofs reduce a building’s energy costs by 10 to 15%.
- It preserves and restores natural landscape features (forests, wetlands)
- It enhances groundwater recharge - The natural infiltration capabilities of green infrastructure technologies can improve the rate at which groundwater aquifers are 'recharged' or replenished. This is significant because groundwater provides about 40% of the water needed to maintain normal base flow rates in our rivers and streams. Enhanced groundwater recharge can also boost the supply of drinking water for private and public uses.
- It reduces sewer overflow events
- It improves air quality - Green infrastructure facilitates the incorporation of trees and vegetation in urban landscapes, which can contribute to improved air quality
- It creates additional wildlife habitat and recreational space - Greenways, parks, urban forests, wetlands, and vegetated swales are all forms of green infrastructure that provide increased access to recreational space and wildlife habitat.
- It increases land value - A number of case studies suggest that green infrastructure can increase surrounding property values
EPA will develop the use of green infrastructure in ten cities in the US by collaborating actively with local governments, groups, watershed, tribes. These cities are going to be highlighted as models for other cities. Boston is one of those cities. The goal of EPA is to spread the use of green infrastructure across the US to control stormwater.
Learn about Norfolk Ram's stormwater management services here.
If you have any questions about green infrastructure, please contact John McAllister at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (508) 747 - 7900 x 117.
Download our FREE Raingarden information.
Information in this article is taken from EPA new release April, 29 2011, by Enesta Jones and Richard Yost.
For more information about this strategy, you can also download the Strategic Agenda to protect waters and build more livable communities through green infrastructure, that EPA released in 2009 about this subject, here : http://www.epa.gov/npdes/pubs/gi_agenda_protectwaters.pdf.