The Ithaca Area Wastewater Treatment Facility now generates nearly half its energy on site. The plant uses an upgraded biogas for energy and serves a population of 40,000 in Ithaca and two neighboring townships. Biogas is produced when bacteria decompose manure. This gas mixture can be used to generate heat, hot water or electricity. The leftover digested manure also has many uses such as: fertilizer, bedding, mulch and potting soil.
New York has also been pivotal in establishing a Smart Growth Public Infrastructure Policy which takes many agencies into account. Unlike NYS infrastructure agencies and authorities, local governments are not directly subject to the Smart Growth Public Infrastructure Policy Act. However, because many of them turn to state infrastructure agencies for support with local infrastructure projects, the law can indirectly be important for them. Furthermore, while the State can set priorities for infrastructure it funds, the broader goal of enhancing smart growth depends on the acceptance of local governments to align their priorities and authorities in the same direction. Based on responses to a scientifically randomized sample of New York’s cities, towns and villages, a report was established to summarize the awareness and familiarity of municipal leaders with the law and its significance, especially with respect to water and sewer infrastructure. Recently, almost $100 billion of proposals were received, mostly for water, sewer, road, bridge, and transit capital project repairs and some for new engines of growth. The Smart Growth Public Infrastructure Policy Act was signed into law with the intention of promoting more efficient use of limited infrastructure funds.
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