Solution for Environment: Support building more green roofs to capture rain runoff instead of more wastewater treatment plants in our neighborhoods.

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Issue: 
Environment
Solution: 
Support building more green roofs to capture rain runoff instead of more wastewater treatment plants in our neighborhoods.
Explanation: 

One-third of New York’s landmass is covered by roofs which, if redesigned, can help to clean our environment. Green roofs hold rainwater which would help prevent subway delays associated with flooding and help stem the 27 billion gallons of untreated wastewater that overflows into nearby waters when our sewer system becomes overburdened. Green roofs cool the air, as water in the plants evaporate when sunlight hits, rather than creating an urban heat island effect from higher temperatures in urban areas. If one half of New York City’s flat roofs were green, City temperatures would fall by 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer, saving $70 million in energy costs and strengthening our energy infrastructure. Green roofs also create open spaces where people can congregate and grow food, cut down on CO2, and generally last about twice as long as normal roofs. Some experts believe that by investing $250 million in green roofs, we can avoid having to spend money on expanding our wastewater treatment capacity to handle overflow due to rainwater, while also receiving the other benefits green roofs bring.

Source: 
Former New York City Public Advocate Mark Green, "Change for New York: 100 Ideas for a Better City," 2009.

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