In association with the Long Island Nitrogen Action Plan (LINAP), the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and the Long Island Regional Planning Council (LIRPC) are developing a new program called Nitrogen Smart Communities (NSC). NSC will assist communities and municipalities in Nassau and Suffolk counties to take meaningful and effective actions to reduce or eliminate nitrogen pollution in surface water and groundwater. These actions would be rooted in a community specific action plan.
Prior to the launch of a full-scale NSC program, a pilot project will be conducted involving two communities within the Long Island Sound watershed area. A consulting firm will work with the pilot communities to develop their respective community specific NSC Action Plan based on a template created by the DEC and LIRPC. The NSC pilot project will also gather input and information that will be used to fine-tune the program ahead of the island-wide, full-scale launch of the program – specifically, gathering input on the NSC Guidance document which will help communities in Nassau and Suffolk counties navigate the process to develop their own NSC Action Plan.
To aide in the preparation of the action plan, the NSC program will provide guidance to communities and municipalities that will help in the following ways:
- Understanding the primary sources of excess nitrogen.
- Developing and implementing nitrogen reduction initiatives and best practices.
- Achieving nitrogen reduction goals associated with subwatershed plans and other initiatives.
The NSC program will also provide tools, resources and technical assistance.