The Hudson Valley Regional Council (HVRC) was established in 1977 as an organization of county governments comprising Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Sullivan, Ulster, and Westchester counties. It’s one of 650 such regional planning and development boards in the United States, that in addition to providing a regional perspective offer education & outreach, technical assistance, and advocacy to the communities they serve. The organization is funded by several federal and State grant programs as well as an annual contribution from the member counties.
HVRC receives grant funding from the US Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration (EDA) through their Partnership Planning Program (2019-2022). This funding requires the development of a Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) for the region every five years, with annual updates in between. The staff at HVRC assist municipalities and eligible entities throughout the region with the application process for EDA’s various grant offerings.
HVRC is the recipient of grant funding to assist with Water Quality Planning in the region through the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) and the Federal Clean Water Act program. Through this funding, HVRC provides education and outreach to local municipalities with respect to water quality planning and stormwater management. Recent initiatives have included extensive work on green infrastructure projects throughout the Mid-Hudson region. Examples of these projects are available on our website. The focus of the current grant (2019-2023) is to assist municipalities with Source Water Protection Plans, 9 Element Watershed Management Plans, and education and outreach for MS4 communities.
HVRC is also the recipient of a Clean Energy Communities Program grant through the NYS Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), which allows our staff to provide on-the-ground technical assistance to municipalities throughout the region that are interested in pursuing the ten High Impact Actions. These include the Climate Smart Communities Program, conversion of street lights to LED lights, benchmarking energy usage for large municipal buildings, deployment of fleet electric vehicles (EVs) and EV charging infrastructure, among others. Many of these actions also have other resources and incentives available. The program’s goals are to reduce energy usage on the municipal level, reduce the cost of energy (potentially reducing taxes for the residents), and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions throughout the region and state in order to mitigate climate change.
HVRC has partnered with NYSDEC’s Hudson River Estuary Program to develop legal opinions and papers on issues related to watersheds, stormwater, water quality, and wastewater. These documents, as well as videos of the seminars and other project materials, are available on our website.
HVRC is also contracted by the City of Kingston to assist with a feasibility study on municipal organics recycling and will be participating in a NYSERDA campaign to promote Clean Heating & Cooling technologies in Putnam County in partnership with Westchester Community Opportunity Program and Bright Energy Services. Additionally, HVRC hosts and facilitates the work of the Materials Management Working Group as well as supports and facilitates the work of the Mid-Hudson Regional Sustainability Coalition.
We partner with many organizations in order to provide a high level of service to our communities, including, but not limited to, Pace Land Use Law Center, Cornell Cooperative Extension, the Hudson River Watershed Alliance, the New York State Floodplain and Stormwater Management Association, and the Lower Hudson Coalition of Conservation Districts.