The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced last week that it is providing $950,000 to help 17 communities in 16 states expand green infrastructure use. In so doing, EPA hopes to improve water quality, protect people’s health, and benefit communities with job creation and neighborhood revitalization. Green infrastructure uses vegetation and soil to manage rainwater where it falls, keeping polluted stormwater from entering sewer systems and waterways in local communities. Effective green infrastructure tools and techniques include green roofs, permeable materials, alternative designs for streets and buildings, trees, rain gardens and rain harvesting systems. Communities are increasingly using green infrastructure to supplement or substitute for single-purpose “gray” infrastructure investments such as pipes, filters, and ponds.
The selected “Community Partners” will use the funds for technical assistance for projects including code review, green infrastructure design, and cost-benefit assessments. Among the Community Partners announced by EPA is Atlanta, Georgia. Atlanta will receive $50,000 to assist in developing a conceptual design for a green infrastructure project in a priority watershed in order to help revitalize distressed neighborhoods and reduce flooding.