PHILADELPHIA — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is providing up to $3 million in research grants for projects that will study the benefits of green techniques in controlling stormwater pollution in Philadelphia. The funds will help advance the city’s landmark Green City, Clean Waters plan. EPA’s “Science to Achieve Results” (STAR) program will fund major research projects focusing on key aspects of green infrastructure in a 40,500-acre area of the city experiencing frequent sewer system overflows.
Green stormwater infrastructure includes green roofs, tree-lined streets, porous pavement, grassy swales and other features that intercept stormwater before it can surge into sewer systems and send pollutants to local rivers and streams.
“Philadelphia is a national leader in using green techniques for reducing stormwater impacts and increasing economic and community benefits,” said EPA Regional Administrator Shawn M. Garvin. “This funding will help the city quantify the benefits of thinking outside the pipe, and create a living laboratory of green infrastructure.”
In April 2012, EPA signed a partnership agreement with the city to support the Green City, Clean Waters plan to control stormwater.
EPA will fund research projects of up to $1 million each to examine the performance and effectiveness of green stormwater infrastructure in Philadelphia. The research will focus on such items as:
• measuring early benefits, long-term effectiveness and economic viability of green infrastructure;
• evaluating alternative financing mechanisms;
• quantifying benefits to neighborhoods and communities; and
• developing strategies for successfully adopting green infrastructure.
More information on the Request for Applications for “Performance and Effectiveness of Green Infrastructure Stormwater Management Approaches in the Urban Context: A Philadelphia Case Study,” can be found at http://epa.gov/ncer/rfa/