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Jan. 18, 2008 - EPA, National and Environmental Groups Launch “Green Infrastructure” Plan

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), with state and national partners, released a comprehensive plan to reduce runoff and increase environmental and economic benefits for communities. 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. 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.

This plan follows an April 19, 2007, agreement to promote green infrastructure as an environmentally preferable approach to wet weather management. 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 can be found at www.epa.gov/npdes/greeninfrastructure/general.

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