Buffalo getting $500K US grant for water quality

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — The city of Buffalo is receiving a $500,000 federal grant to improve water quality in Lake Erie.

The award was announced Monday by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. EPA officials say it will fund green infrastructure projects that will help prevent storm water from carrying contamination into the lake.

The city of Buffalo and the Buffalo Sewer Authority will use the grant, along with $500,000 from Empire State Development, to install porous asphalt, storm water planters and rain gardens along a one-mile section of Niagara Street along the Niagara River, which flows into Lake Erie.

“It’s what you do with the water itself and what you do to mitigate the damage of runoff,” Rep. Brian Higgins said. “This project will go a long way toward doing that and restoring the biological integrity of these very, very important waterways.”

Authorities say the projects will control up to 4.9 million gallons of storm water runoff per year and reduce the amount of road salt, oil and sediment flowing into the river.

The project will construct green infrastructure along a targeted one-mile section of Niagara Street with the goals of:

• Build upon private investment in Niagara Street businesses like Rich Products, D’Youville and Urban Family Practice
• Increase Niagara Street property values and invite new investment
• Create an attractive Gateway to the City, welcoming visitors such as those visiting the Broderick Park Underground Railroad site
• Reconnect City neighborhoods to the waterfront
• Link the City’s west side waterfront parks from LaSalle to Black Rock Canal Park, helping to achieve the Niagara River Greenway vision
• Implement the City’s complete street ordinance, making the corridor safer for pedestrians and bicycles

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