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Energy

Joanie Mahoney to introduce 50 green projects in state of county address

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Green roofs like this one capture water and insulate buildings against the elements - and Syracuse may be getting one.

Onondaga's county executive Joanie Mahoney is giving her "State of the County" tonight.  On the agenda: her "Project 50" plan to complete 50 "green" projects this year, reports Tim Knauss at the Post-Standard.  The county has identified 82 potential projects, including a green roof at the convention center:

The biggest project, by the amount of water captured, will be a 12-acre restoration of wetlands in a former residential neighborhood alongside Harbor Brook near Velasko Road and Grand Avenue. It will capture an estimated 14.9 million gallons a year. Most, but not all, of the 50 projects will take place on county or city property, [county physical services chief Matt] Millea said. Others will be done on private property, subsidized by the county’s $3 million green infrastructure fund. Mahoney said she hopes the push for green infrastructure will attract state and federal grants. But it’s also important to capture the public’s attention, because, like curb-side recycling, green infrastructure requires widespread adoption. “We’re going to need people to use green infrastructure on their own property,” Mahoney said.

Green Buffalo
Buffalo is revisiting its zoning code 60 years after it was first created, this time with a "green" twist.  Harold McNeil at the Buffalo News reports that the first of a series of forums about the code reform brought in about 80 people last night:

Jack Swenson is a consultant with Camiros in Chicago, a firm that was hired to assist Buffalo in developing a new land-use plan and zoning ordinance. “The last time the Buffalo zoning code was rewritten was in 1950. A lot has changed in [more than] 50 years, . . . but, more importantly, people’s vision of the city has changed a great deal,” Swenson said. “In 1950, there was a move to suburbanize the city, make room for more automobiles [and] separate uses. I think . . . Buffalo, through its 2007 comprehensive plan, has taken the position that the city in the future should be [geared toward] smart growth, compact walkable, sustainable neighborhoods. And that’s part of why we call it a Green Code.”

The next hearing is tonight at 6:30 at the Riverside Institute of Technology.

Justin Sondel at the From the Ruins blog has a useful infographic displaying where the nine hearings will be held throughout the city.

Brewing up fuel
James Smith at Conveying News ("industry news for bulk materials handling, conveying, elevating and storage" - get it!?!) writes that Cornell University is working to isolate microbes in brewery waste that could help produce biofuels:

Over the course of the preliminary year-long studies, researchers analysed more than 400,000 different gene sequences in the microbes found in the brewery waste. Currently, reactions within the tanks produce methane gas, but Cornell engineers are confident that they can change the way each unique bacterial community interacts to produce a precursor to the alkanes found in fuel. Commenting on the findings, which are published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, lead researcher Largus Angenent said: "The cool thing we found was that if you're looking at these thousands of species of bacteria, it's a very dynamic system with things dying off and replacing them. "We are going to shape these communities so they start making what we want."

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