A landmark agreement between the New York State Dept. of Environmental Conservation and the New York City Dept. of Environmental Protection has green-lighted $3.8 billion in funding over the next 18 years to address combined-sewer overflows, or CSOs. The agreement, made in response to a consent order between the DEC and the DEP, includes $1.4 billion in gray infrastructure projects to improve the performance of the city's collection system and $2.4 billion for green infrastructure design, such as porous pavements, green streets, green and blue roofs, swales and street trees for capturing and absorbing stormwater before it enters the combined-sewer system.
According to the New York Riverkeeper, more than 27 billion gallons of raw sewage and polluted stormwater discharge from 460 CSOs into New York Harbor each year. In July 2011, an engine-room fire knocked pumps offline at the North River wastewater treatment plant; operators diverted about 20 million gallons of raw effluent into the Hudson.