Environmental Programs

The COG acts as a mutual forum to discuss and bring into focus regional challenges and opportunities, collect and maintain data of a regional interest, strive to improve communication, coordination and intergovernmental cooperation between all levels of government, facilitate cooperative agreements, seek technical assistance, and to coordinate Federal, State and Local programs of regional importance.

GYPSY MOTH AERIAL SPRAYING – Approximately ten years ago, primarily due to the demise of the County Health Program, the COG administered a joint bid for nine of our municipalities to accomplish the spraying of 1,500 plus acres throughout the NHCOG.

HOUSEHOLD HAZARDOUS WASTE COLLECTION – The NHCOG has worked cooperatively with a newly organized multi-County task force in order to have one of five collection events held in North Park for the benefit of the residents of all of our member municipalities.

JOINT MUNICIPAL LEAF COMPOSTING PROGRAM – This program, operated since 1992, at a five acre site in North Park, is the result of cooperation between the COG and its’ member municipalities as well as the DEP and Allegheny. It is one of the largest multi-municipal sites in Southwestern PA, recycling over 40,000 cubic yards of loose leaves picked-up curbside into approximately 10,000 cubic yards of finished compost for use by our twelve participating municipalities and the residents themselves. This program operates under the oversight of the COG office and a part-time equipment operator.

NHCOG AGRICULTURAL SECURITY AREA – Approximately ten years ago, the COG was the initiating and coordinating entity for the organization of numerous farms in ten different municipalities into a registered Agricultural Security Area under State laws governing the Department of Agriculture. To date, there has been one seven-year update and review with nearly 2,500 acres registered. Under the program farm owners can exercise certain options to remove their property from the real estate market and receive a per acre dollar reimbursement in return. At the time the NHCOG Ag Area was established it was one of the largest multi-municipal Ag Areas in the State.

SEWER VACTOR PROGRAM (HAMPTON TOWNSHIP) - The sewer vactor program along with the sewer camera program was begun with the purchase of vehicles by the County on behalf of all of the COGs in the mid-eighties. It has served the municipal members well for almost twenty years. More recently, a newer sewer vactor was purchased by the COG and eventually spun-off under an agreement with Hampton Township to continue to administer the program under a fee-for-services arrangement for any COG municipal member that may desire the service. Although the original camera truck has long-ago been traded-in due to its’ functional obsolescence, a TV camera monitor continues to be available under a cooperative agreement with another COG.

3RWWDP BASIN COMMITTEE REPRESENTATION – COG is represented at basin meetings of the 3 Rivers Wet Weather Demonstration Program (3RWWDP) and acts as a liaison when requested.

MULTI-MUNICIPAL MS-4 GRANT (ENGINEERS COMMITTEE) – A joint application was filed in 2003 by the COG on behalf of sixteen of our municipal members and three additional neighboring municipalities in three contiguous watersheds. A significant amount of funding by DEP for this joint effort at meeting this otherwise unfunded mandated is anticipated. Also the NHCOG committee of in-house municipal managers is charged with finding and implementing standard procedures which will yield significant fiscal efficiencies for all municipalities involved.

MULTI-MUNICIPAL SOLID WASTE AND RECYCLING CONTRACT – Nine municipal COG members are under identical contract terms and conditions with a single hauler, as a result of COG-sponsored specifications and a competitive bid that was awarded for curbside pickup of garbage and recycling for 2006 – 2007. This effort was preceded by an earlier COG-sponsored bid on behalf of multiple municipalities, which spanned the time period from 2001 to 2005. As before, an economy-of-scale was achieved for residents and improved contract performance standards resulted in upgraded service for approximately 35,000 households in this one and one half million dollar contract. An additional nine month option may be awarded at the sole option of the participating municipalities based upon contract performance which will extend this multi-municipal contract until September 30, 2008. A significant savings was realized for the municipal participants in the administration of the bidding by the COG in addition to a favorable multiple-year price structure for the residential customers.  The COG will continue to be involved in administration for the duration of the contract, by serving as the focus of communication between the municipalities and the contractor, and acting as the central depository for the contractor’s bonds, insurance, and escrow account for liquidated damages.