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Home > Feature Articles > Sustainable Development Best Practices for Community Sustainability

EPA Green Infrastructure Program
Reduces Stormwater Runoff and Sewer Overflows

Green infrastructure includes green roofs, trees and tree boxes, rain gardens, and porous pavements.

Find green business solutions
EPA Green Infrastructure for green roofs, trees, tree boxes, rain gardens and porous pavements

Green Infrastructure Program to Reduce Runoff and Sewer Overflows

EPA, with state and national partners, released the Green Infrastructure program, a comprehensive plan to reduce polluted runoff and increase environmental and economic benefits for communities.

Green Infrastructures: Green Roofs, Trees, Rain Gardens, Porous Pavements

The strategy will help reduce stormwater runoff and sewer overflows by promoting "green infrastructure" approaches, such as green roofs, trees and tree boxes, rain gardens, and porous pavements.

EPA Green Infrastructure Pollution Prevention Techniques

Green infrastructure techniques, technologies, and practices reduce the amount of water and pollutants that run off a site. These tools have many other benefits, including cost savings, improved air quality, urban heat island reductions, energy savings, water conservation, and urban habitat creation.

The plan explains how states, municipalities, permitting authorities, and non-governmental organizations can use green infrastructure practices to meet water quality goals while sustaining their water infrastructure. The document, "Managing Wet Weather with Green Infrastructure Action Strategy 2008," outlines ways to bring green infrastructure technologies and approaches into mainstream use for runoff and sewer overflow management.

Runoff and Wet Weather Management

This plan follows an April 19, 2007, agreement to promote green infrastructure as an environmentally preferable approach to wet weather management.

Common Green Infrastructure Approaches

  • Conservation Easements
  • Grassed Swales
  • Green Parking
  • Green Roofs
  • Infiltration Trenches
  • Innovative Street Design
  • Open Space Design
  • Porous Pavements
  • Protection of Natural Features
  • Rain Gardens/Bioretention
  • Redevelopment
  • Reforestation
  • Riparian Buffers/Forested Buffers
  • Stormwater Wetlands
  • Urban Forestry (Trees and Tree Boxes)
  • Vegetated Filter Strips
  • Low Impact Development (LID) and Other Green Design Strategies
  • On-Lot Treatment (e.g., rain barrels, cisterns, downspout disconnections)

Green Infrastructures Program Partners & Implementation

It also represents a key set of actions that EPA and its partners are taking to reduce projected impacts of climate change. The plan, which includes 7 major implementation areas:
  • Research,
  • Outreach and Communication,
  • Tools,
  • Clean Water Act Regulatory Support,
  • Economic Viability and Funding,
  • Demonstrations and Recognition, and
  • Partnerships and Promotion
...was developed by EPA, American Rivers, the Association of State and Interstate Water Pollution Control Administrators, the National Association of Clean Water Agencies, the Natural Resources Defense Council, and the Low Impact Development Center.

More information on green infrastructure: EPA Green Infrastructures Program
www.epa.gov/npdes/greeninfrastructure/general



Edited by Carolyn Allen, owner/editor of California Green Solutions
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