NY Giants, Jets Sign with EPA for 'Greenest'-Ever Meadowlands

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, when the New York Jets and New York Giants kick off their 2010 seasons, they won't just have a new stadium to call home, they'll be playing in one of the greenest venues in sports thanks to a partnership signed Monday between EPA and the stadium's principal owner. The memorandum of understanding signed by the New Meadowlands Stadium Co. outlines plans to incorporate environmentally-friendly materials and practices into the construction and operation of New Meadowlands Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., and details myriad strategies to reduce air pollution, conserve water and energy, improve waste management, and reduce the environmental impact of construction.

Goals of the agreement include cutting the stadium’s annual water use by 25 percent, making it 30 percent more energy efficient than Giants Stadium, increasing total recycling by 25 percent and recycling 75 percent of construction waste. All told, the goals of the agreement stand to save the equivalent of the emissions of nearly 1.68 million metric tons of carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas that contributes to global climate change, during the stadium’s construction and its first year of operations. That’s equal to taking more than 300,000 cars off the road for a whole year or the emissions from the energy needed to power 150,000 American homes for one year.

"The New Meadowlands Stadium will be one of the greenest stadiums in American professional sports," said EPA Acting Regional Administrator George Pavlou. "This ambitious, comprehensive plan set forth by the two team ownership groups is a blueprint for new sports venues everywhere."

N.Y. Giants co-owner John Mara added, "From the first planning stages of this project, we were committed to designing, building and operating a stadium that would be as environmentally friendly and responsible as possible. We soon realized that going green is good business as well. We learned, and what we hope others will take from our experience and example, is that technology and knowhow exist to build and run stadiums and other large projects with far less impact on our air, water and other resources than just a few short years ago."

"When the stadium opens, our efforts will only intensify," said Woody Johnson, owner of the New York Jets. "What we are creating here is more than just a place to play and watch football. The 80 thousand people who come to our games will be able to rest assured that we are working not only to make them comfortable, but also to minimize their impact on the environment and keep their environment clean."

Highlights of the goals established under the agreement include:

  • Using some 40,000 tons of recycled steel to build the stadium and recycling 20,000 tons of steel when Giants Stadium is demolished;
  • Installing seating made partially from recycled plastic and scrap iron;
  • Building the stadium on a parcel of rehabilitated land, a former brownfield;
  • Reducing air pollution from construction vehicles by using cleaner diesel fuel, diesel engine filters, and shortening how long engines idle;
  • Using environmentally-friendly concrete in construction;
  • Reducing water consumption and increasing energy efficiency;
  • Providing mass transit options for fans; and
  • Replacing traditional concession plates, cups, and carries with compostable alternatives.

The New Meadowlands Stadium Co. will report the progress on its goals to EPA every six months. Based on the reports, EPA will quantify the benefits of the venue’s environmental efforts. EPA has similar agreements in place with the New York Mets for the team’s new Citi Field stadium, the Destiny USA mall project in Syracuse, N.Y., the real estate firm Cushman & Wakefield, Montclair State University in Montclair, N.J., Monmouth University in West Long Branch, N.J., and St. John’s University in Queens, N.Y. For more information on EPA green construction and operations agreements, visit www.epa.gov/region02/greenteam/.

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