Tuesday, February 26, 2008

County Planning Commission Seeking Roof Greening Dollars from Harrisburg

Among the items up for discussion during tomorrow's County Commissioners meeting is a proposed contract between the Lancaster County Planning Commission and the Pennsylvania Departments of Environmental Protection and Energy and Technology Deployment for funding for the "Lancaster County Roof Greening project."

The contracts could secure as much as $479,333 for the project over the next two years, according to Scott Standish, Director of Long Range Planning for the County.

"Roof greening" is practice of planting vegetation on the roofs and exteriors of buildings to help collect water and save energy.

In fact, "Roof greening," explained County Senior Environmental Planner MaryGattis-Schell, "can collect as much as .56 million gallons [of stormwater] a year that would otherwise end up as runoff in our rivers."

The practice is fairly innovative, with only a few other cities in Pennsylvania having experimented with the technique, according to Standish.

But with fuel costs and environmental concerns on the rise, the state is eager to invest in projects of this nature.

Millersville University will partner with the Planning Commission in implementing and assessing the project goals.