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Green Infrastructure for Clean Water Act of 2009 H.R. 4202 Becky Hammer – Associate Advocate, Water Program – Natural Resources Defense Council.

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Presentation on theme: "Green Infrastructure for Clean Water Act of 2009 H.R. 4202 Becky Hammer – Associate Advocate, Water Program – Natural Resources Defense Council."— Presentation transcript:

1 Green Infrastructure for Clean Water Act of 2009 H.R Becky Hammer – Associate Advocate, Water Program – Natural Resources Defense Council

2 Goals & Findings Purpose of the bill: promote the understanding and use of green infrastructure techniques across the country. In the bill, Congress finds: – Americas water resources are declining – That decline is a result of increases in population, impermeable surfaces, urbanization, and climate change – Green infrastructure can increase water supplies, create green jobs, save money, and reduce stormwater runoff and water pollution

3 H.R. 4202s Definition of Green Infrastructure Stormwater management techniques that preserve, restore, enhance, or mimic natural hydrology Methods that promote absorption, uptake, percolation, evapotranspiration, and filtration by soil and plant life Preservation and restoration of natural topography, ecology, bodies of water, and soil

4 The Bills Three Main Sections 1.Centers of Excellence for Green Infrastructure 2.Green Infrastructure Grants 3.Environmental Protection Agency Green Infrastructure Program

5 (1) Centers of Excellence for Green Infrastructure 3-5 institutions located across the U.S. To be selected by EPA on a competitive basis Each Center of Excellence will: – Conduct research on green infrastructure – Develop manuals and set industry standards – Provide technical assistance to state/local govt – Provide training to educational institutions – Evaluate regulatory and policy issues One will be a national electronic clearinghouse

6 (2) Green Infrastructure Grants Awarded by EPA on a competitive basis Eligible recipients: state and local governments; and local, regional, or other entities who manage stormwater, wastewater, or water resources – Priority: communities with combined sewers and low- income or disadvantaged communities Two types of grants (next slide) Federal share of each grant cannot exceed 65% of project cost

7 (2) Green Infrastructure Grants Planning and development grants – Planning/design of projects; identifying and developing fee structures or revisions to local standards and codes; developing training materials; developing portfolio standards – Maximum grant amount: $200,000 Implementation grants – Installing green infrastructure; monitoring and evaluating benefits – Maximum grant amount: $3,000,000

8 (3) EPA Green Infrastructure Program Within EPA Office of Water Duties: Promote green infrastructure in EPA programs; coordinate efforts to increase use of green infrastructure with other federal agencies, state & local governments, and private sector Regional implementation: Incorporation of green infrastructure into permitting and enforcement Compliance assistance center

9 Current Status of H.R House of Representatives: – Introduced by Donna Edwards (D-Md.) in Dec. 09 – Currently has 26 co-sponsors – Referred to two committees: Transportation & Infrastructure and Science & Technology Senate: – We are still looking for a Senator to introduce a companion bill

10 H.R Talking Points Why we need green infrastructure – What is green infrastructure? – What is the problem with current (gray infrastructure) approaches? The benefits of green infrastructure – Its more effective at dealing with stormwater problems – It saves money and creates jobs – It relieves stress on aging infrastructure – It creates healthier communities (water, air, health, crime, aesthetics…)

11 H.R Talking Points Why we need to pass this bill – Current obstacles to green infrastructure: Lack of centralized, readily available information on techniques and performance data Local regulatory barriers Lack of EPA acceptance and guidance – The bill will help to overcome these obstacles as well as provide much-needed funding

12 Special Talking Points for Conservative Legislators Stress the ECONOMIC benefits of green infrastructure! – Saves $ for communities by reducing the quantity of stormwater to be treated – Reduces costs of replacing aging infrastructure – Saves $ for residents and businesses on their stormwater fees – Creates green jobs (installation, maintenance) – Others: higher property values, energy savings

13 H.R Talking Points Organizations who support this bill: – American Society of Landscape Architects – American Public Works Association – American Rivers – Center for Neighborhood Technology – Chesapeake Bay Foundation – Clean Water Action – Design-Build Institute of America – Low Impact Development Center – National Association of Clean Water Agencies – Natural Resources Defense Council – Water Environment Federation

14 Things to Remember Explain who you are and WHY YOU CARE about green infrastructure Provide concrete examples whenever possible – Experience with specific projects – Photos, drawings, or other images Wrap up meetings with our ASK! – House: cosponsor the bill and help move it through the legislative process – Senate: sponsor and introduce a companion bill

15 Contact Information Becky Hammer Natural Resources Defense Council

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