Green infrastructure promoted in new EPA strategy

April 29, 2011
WASHINGTON, DC, Apr. 29, 2011 -- EPA is launching a new strategy to encourage cities and towns to use green infrastructure to reduce stormwater runoff...

WASHINGTON, DC, Apr. 29, 2011 -- EPA is launching a new strategy to encourage cities and towns to use green infrastructure to reduce stormwater runoff.

As part of the strategy, EPA will work with partners including local governments, watershed groups, tribes and others in 10 cities that have utilized green infrastructure and have plans for additional projects. EPA will encourage and support expanded use of green infrastructure in these cities and highlight them as models for other municipalities around the country. The 10 cities are: Austin, Texas; Boston, Mass.; Cleveland, Ohio; Denver, Colo.; Jacksonville, Fla.; Kansas City, Mo.; Los Angeles, Calif.; Puyallup, Wash.; Syracuse, N.Y.; and Washington, DC and neighboring Anacostia Watershed communities.

Green infrastructure treats rain where it falls, keeping polluted stormwater from entering sewer systems. In addition to decreasing water pollution, green infrastructure provides many community benefits including increased economic activity and neighborhood revitalization, job creation, and increased recreational and green space.

Energy savings is another benefit of green infrastructure. On and around buildings, green infrastructure can reduce heating and cooling costs. For example, green roofs reduce a building's energy costs by 10 to 15 percent, and an additional 10 percent of urban tree canopy can provide 5 to 10 percent energy savings from shading and windblocking. Green infrastructure also conserves energy by reducing the amount of stormwater entering combined collection and treatment systems, which reduces the amount of wastewater processed at treatment plants.

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