WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued guidance to help federal agencies minimize the impact of federal development projects on nearby water bodies. The guidance was issued in response to a change in law and an Executive Order signed by President Obama, which calls upon all federal agencies to lead by example to address a wide range of environmental issues, including stormwater runoff.
EPA said it worked closely with other federal agencies to develop this document, which provides background information, key definitions, case studies, and guidance on meeting the new requirements of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. Under the new requirements, federal agencies must minimize stormwater runoff from federal development projects to protect water resources. Federal agencies can comply using a variety of stormwater management practices often referred to as “green infrastructure” or “low-impact development” practices, including reducing impervious surfaces, using vegetative practices, using porous pavements, and installing green roofs. EPA is using sustainable techniques for reducing the effects of stormwater runoff at its own facilities, such as installing a 3,000-square-foot green roof, as well as using rain gardens and cisterns to capture and reuse stormwater.