Processing Magazine

EPA funding helps communities use green infrastructure to improve water quality

July 24, 2012

ATLANTA — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today announced that it is providing $950,000 to help 17 communities expand green infrastructure use to improve water quality.

Green infrastructure uses vegetation and soil to manage rainwater where it falls, keeping polluted stormwater from entering sewer systems and waterways in local communities. The EPA funding is intended to increase incorporation of green infrastructure into stormwater management programs, protect water quality and provide community benefits including job creation and neighborhood revitalization.

“Effective stormwater management is one of the most widespread challenges to water quality in the nation,” said Nancy Stoner, EPA’s acting assistant administrator for water. “Polluted stormwater can be harmful to the health of our nation’s waterbodies. These funds will help expand the use of green infrastructure, revitalize local neighborhoods and help safeguard people’s health and the environment.”

EPA is awarding the funds to diverse communities across 16 states. Some communities — like Beaufort, S.C., and Neosho, Mo. — are small towns in urban growth areas interested in preserving and protecting their healthy waterways. Others — such as Camden, N.J., and Pittsburgh, Pa. — are large cities interested in adding green infrastructure into their redevelopment projects to restore degraded urban waters and help revitalize their communities. The selected communities also provide an opportunity to demonstrate the potential of green infrastructure across a range of climate zones.