About Hudson

Environmental Sustainability

“Climate change will have devastating impacts and the City of Hudson must reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” says Mayor Kamal Johnson. “We must prepare for a changing climate by identifying and deploying adaptation strategies. It’s an added benefit that many of these climate strategies will save money over the long-term.”

The City of Hudson is pursuing many initiatives to become more environmentally sustainable and resilient.

Land Use & Natural Resources

Conservation Advisory Council
Per NYS General Municipal Law, each municipality is sanctioned to create a Conservation Advisory Council to advise local government on environmental matters and review development proposals with potential environmental impact. Since 2015 the Hudson Conservation Advisory Council has worked as a volunteer board to ensure the conservation of the City’s natural resources and the enhancement and protection of its environment while fostering unified actions on environmental matters.

Comprehensive Plan
The City of Hudson produced and approved a comprehensive plan in 2002, which provides a vision for the future of the community and recommends policies to achieve that vision.

Local Waterfront Revitalization Program (LWRP)
This program was administered through the NYS Department of State and provides coastal areas, including Hudson Estuary riverfront communities, with support for planning and implementing improvements on their waterfront. Climate adaptation and flood reduction strategies are encouraged as part of the LWRP process. See the
Local Waterfront Revitalization Plan.

City of Hudson Natural Resources Inventory
In 2019, the Hudson Conservation Advisory Council produced a Natural Resource and Open Space Inventory that was approved by the Common Council in July 2019.

Columbia County Natural Resources Inventory
The Columbia County Environmental Management Council produced a county-wide Natural Resources Inventory in 2018, which was approved by the Columbia County Board of Supervisors.

Parks and Trails Improvements (in progress)
Oakdale Lake Watershed Analysis and Amelioration Project - Friends of Oakdale and the Columbia Land Conservancy received an Environmental Justice grant from the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation to map the Oakdale Lake watershed and study its water quality.

Additional projects include Promenade Hill Park and Empire State Trail.

Columbia Land Conservancy North Bay Recreation and Natural Area Plan, 2011

Hudsonia’s South Bay Biological Survey, 2008

Tree Plantings
Learn more at Conservation Advisory Council. Promenade Hill Park improvements will also include tree plantings.

Hudson River Estuary Program
Water Resource Summary

Infrastructure Upgrades

Stormwater/Sewer Separation (in progress)
In older cities, stormwater and sewage are often carried in the same drainage system. During heavy rainfall these combined drainage systems can get overwhelmed, causing an inadvertent release of sewage into waterways. The City of Hudson is undertaking a project to separate stormwater and sewerage into separate drainage systems in an effort to reduce flooding and pollution.

Water Infrastructure Improvement(in progress)

Water Treatment Report

Churchtown Reservoir Engineering Assessment - 081914

Complete Streets Improvements (in progress)
Complete Streets is a term used to describe ordinary city streets that are designed to allow people of all ages and abilities to walk,bike, take the busand drive less. By “completing the street” to encourage movement, kids, grandparents, adults of all ages can be active, healthy and feel connected to their neighborhoods. Projects include Hudson Connects, Sidewalks, and Truck Study.

Road-stream crossing management plan (in progress)
The 2014 National Climate Assessment indicated that the Northeastern United States experienced a 71% increase in very heavy precipitation events from 1958 to 2012. The bridges and culverts that bring our roads over streams may not have the capacity to handle increasing storm water from more intense rainfall. In addition to contributing to flood risk, undersized culverts can also pose problems for the movement of fish and other aquatic animals. Hudson is partnering with Cornell Cooperative Extension to assess road-stream crossings and create a management plan to address problem areas.

Reducing Emissions & Conserving Energy

Clean Energy Community
An initiative of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), the Clean Energy Communities Program provides funding and technical support to communities that are implementing energy efficiency, renewable energy and sustainable development projects. Hudson completed four out of the 10 High Impact Actions that save energy and money, and contribute to lowering greenhouse gas emissions, to achieve the Clean Energy Community designation.

Becoming a Climate Smart Community
The New York State Climate Smart Communities (CSC) Program is a network of communities engaged in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving climate resilience. Municipalities become involved with the program by adopting the CSC Pledge, which includes 10 elements that help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and adapt to a changing climate. Municipalities that participate in the Climate Smart Certification Program can access free technical support and funding opportunities to complete projects. The City of Hudson has taken the CSC pledge, formed a Climate Smart Task Force and is pursuing certification.

Electric Vehicle Chargers

Located at the city parking lot on Columbia Street between 5th and 6th. (Learn more about Electric Vehicles)

Lighting Upgrades
Lighting improvements at 701 Union St will have an annual savings of $6,600 and 59,857.01 KWH. Hudson is also working on energy improvements to streetlights.

Financing for Commercial energy improvements
Learn more about the Open C Pace Energy. (Local Law - September 2020)

Unified Solar Permit

Energy Benchmarking
View the resolution and the 2017 report

Preparing for Climate Change & Natural Disasters

Climate Smart Resiliency Planning Tool
This is a tool developed as part of the NYS Climate Smart Communities program that evaluates a community’s policies and planning documents to help identify opportunities to address vulnerabilities to flooding and other climate change related hazards. In 2018, the City of Hudson worked with Cornell Cooperative Extension to complete the Climate Smart Resiliency Planning Tool.


Community Resilience Building Workshop (not officially approved or adopted)
In March of 2017, the City of Hudson participated in a Community Resilience Building Workshop (CRB) that was facilitated by The Nature Conservancy and Hudson River Watershed Alliance. The CRB is a day-long workshop that engages communities in identifying climate change related hazards and to identify opportunities to reduce risk.

Hosting the Cornell University Climate Adaptive Design Studio
The Climate-Adaptive Design (CAD) Studio links Cornell students in landscape architecture with Hudson Riverfront communities to explore design alternatives for more climate resilient, beautiful and connected waterfront areas. The studio is an effort in partnership with Cornell Landscape Architecture, Cornell Water Resources Institute, the NYS DEC Hudson River Estuary Program and the participating municipality. The CAD Studio envisioned a more resilient Hudson. Learn more on CAC Page.

Columbia County Hazard Mitigation Plan (HMP)
The HMP is intended to anticipate and plan for natural hazards that put people and property at risk. The Columbia County HMP, approved in November of 2018 is a multi-jurisdictional plan that includes the City of Hudson along with other towns and villages in the county. The HMP is updated every five years as required by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and is a requirement to achieve eligibility for federal disaster assistance.

Flood Risk Maps

City of Hudson Sea Level Rise Report

City of Hudson Climate Summary, 2016

Flood Preparedness Guide for Residents and Businesses (in progress)
Hudson is working with partners tocreate a guide that outlines community-specific emergency preparedness information such as flood prone roads and emergency shelter locations as well as information on what to do before, during, and after a flood.

Resources for Residents

Estimate your greenhouse gas emissions:
US Environmental Protection Agency Carbon Footprint Calculator

Ideas for reducing your greenhouse gas emissions:

Transportation
  • Walk, bike and use mass transit options instead of driving
  • Bundle errands to reduce the amount of time spent in the car
  • Carpool
  • Choose the most fuel-efficient option when buying a vehicle
  • Learn & practice driving habits that improve fuel economy
  • Drive a hybrid or electric vehicle when possible
  • Reduce or eliminate air travel and purchase carbon offsets
Resources
  • Electric Vehicle Charging Stations are located at the city parking lot on Columbia Street between 5th and 6th in the City of Hudson. ­
  • US Department of Energy Fuel Economy Calculator – calculate your car’s MPG, find energy efficient cars, find tips on driving habits that save gasoline and money
  • NYS Drive Clean Rebate – point-of-sale rebate toward the purchase or lease of a new electric car
  • Sustainable Hudson Valley’s Drive Electric Hudson Valley – information about leasing or purchasing an electric vehicle
Consumer Purchases & Waste Reduction
  • Buy locally-made products
  • Purchase products with low or no packaging and/or buy in bulk
  • Avoid single use plastics
  • Buy used items instead of new ones
  • Reduce or eliminate meat consumption
  • Compost food waste
  • Reuse and recycle!
Resources Home Energy Efficiency

Heating and cooling
  • Caulk windows and doors, install gaskets and foam insulation on wall outlets & light plates
  • Use weather strip or rope caulk and install plastic sheeting on drafty windows
  • Use sweeps or weatherstripping on drafty doors
  • Install insulating window shades and lower them on hot summer days and cold winter nights
  • Install and use a programmable thermostat, turn down heat while sleeping or away, and keep air conditioning at 78 degrees or warmer
  • Use a fan instead of air conditioning to provide cooling at a lower cost
  • Regularly service your heating system (yearly for oil, about every 2 years for natural gas). Replace filters on warm air systems
Appliances & Lighting
  • Turn off appliances and lights when not in use
  • When purchasing new appliances, consider buying ENERGY STAR rated appliances (they are certified to be more energy efficient)
  • Install ENERGY STAR CFL or LED light bulbs
  • Use motion sensor lighting outdoors
  • Hang your clothes to dry instead of using the electric dryer
  • Use “smart power strips” that shut off power to electronic devices when not in use
Conserve hot water
  • Wash only full loads of laundry and in cold water whenever possible
  • Insulate hot water pipes and electric water heaters
  • Use high-efficiency showerheads and shower and faucet aerators
  • Set your hot water heater to 120 degrees (make sure to turn off the electricity before adjusting your water heater’s temperature)
  • Fix any water leaks
Resources
  • Guide to New York State Energy Research & Development Authority (NYSERDA) Home Energy Efficiency Programs – guidance on available programs, eligibility and application information
  • Home Energy Audit – no cost energy audit to identify the root causes of energy inefficiency
  • EmPower New York – low-income households are eligible for free on-site energy use, education and strategies for managing their energy costs through the EmPower New York program
  • Residential Financing Options – two loan programs to help New York residents finance energy efficiency and renewable energy improvements
  • Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) – enables low-income families to permanently reduce their energy bills by making their homes more energy efficient
  • Federal Tax Credits for Consumer Energy Efficiency – federal tax credits may be available for recently installed solar thermal, solar photovoltaic, geothermal or small wind turbine systems
  • Solarize Albany – a nonprofit organizations serving the Capital Region that promotes the use of renewable energy. Check out their website to learn more about rooftop solar, community solar and electric vehicles.
  • Visit the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s Climate Information Resources page for more information on our changing climate.
  • See what sea-level rise looks like in your neighborhood by using Scenic Hudson’s interactive sea-level rise mapper
Get Involved!

This project is a partnership between Resilience Communications & Consulting, LLC and Cornell University Water Resources Institute, with funding from the Environmental Protection Fund through the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Hudson River Estuary Program.