Today, many areas of the country recognize they must do a better job of managing their stormwater, wastewater and water supplies to ensure safe, healthy, and sustainable communities and a clean environment. Many states and municipalities are exploring and adopting more holistic approaches to watershed management and stormwater control, including non-traditional, “green infrastructure” approaches such as vegetated swales, rain gardens, porous concrete, and rain barrels.
While by no means a silver bullet to all water infrastructure challenges, green infrastructure keeps rainwater out of the wastewater systems, and reduces sewer overflows, local flooding and the amount of untreated runoff discharged to surface waters. Green infrastructure also can enhance livability and improve air quality by adding trees and vegetation to the urban environment, thus reducing urban temperatures and carbon dioxide in the ecosystem. In addition, it can generate new jobs in the green economy.
Statement of Principles
In 2011 the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced it intends to update the nation’s stormwater regulations by November 2012. The Alliance joined American Rivers and other organizations in endorsing a set of Green Infrastructure Principles and encouraged EPA to adopt regulations which reflect these values in July 2011. Below is the Alliance’s Statement of Principles In Support of Green Infrastructure Solutions to Stormwater Pollution.