Processing Magazine

Volkswagon gets EPA award for stormwater management

August 26, 2014
<photocredit>Sean Gallup/Getty Images Europe/Thinkstock</photocredit>

Volkswagen Group of America has been recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for its efforts to protect stormwater.

The car manufacturer was this week awarded a regional 2014 EPA Rain Catcher Award in the Commercial Category for its assembly plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Volkswagen Group has introduced a range of environmental features at its Chattanooga plant -- the world's first LEED Platinum Certified Automotive Facility. It has a stormwater conveyance system that consists of bioswales, vegetative ditches and culverts, and rainwater from the roof of the building is used in its cooling tower and toilets.

The company has also created 3.3 miles of stream and 2.8 miles of green space.

At least 20% of the property has been set aside as open space. The site includes two wetlands that are critical to the survival of several species of wildlife, including the Red Headed Woodpecker and the Rusty Blackbird.

The EPA's Rain Catcher Award recognizes excellence in the implementation of stormwater green infrastructure practices. These make use of natural systems or engineered systems designed to mimic natural processes in order to help manage urban stormwater and reduce the impact on local water infrastructure.

Volkswagen Group is also working to reduce freshwater consumption across the group by 25% by 2018. It plans to operate a closed cycle in which water is reused as often as possible, and is already close to becoming "wastewater-free" at several sites, reported.