by Alicia Pimental
December 09, 2009
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued guidance to help federal agencies reduce polluted stormwater runoff from federal development projects to nearby water bodies.
Stormwater runoff is the fastest-growing source of pollution to the Chesapeake Bay. As rain falls and runs across roads, yards, golf courses, parking lots and construction sites, it picks up harmful pollutants such as nutrients, sediment and chemical contaminants. This polluted runoff travels into storm drains and local waterways that eventually flow to the Bay.
Under the new guidance, federal agencies must minimize stormwater runoff from development projects at federal facilities by using low-impact development practices, such as pervious pavement, green roofs and rain gardens. These runoff-reducing practices slow, absorb and filter rain water before it flows into storm drains and local waterways.
“By taking these steps to create more sustainable facilities, federal agencies can lead by example in reducing impacts in the local watershed,” said Peter S. Silva, assistant administrator for the EPA’s Office of Water.
At its own facilities, the EPA has installed a 3,000-square-foot green roof and uses rain gardens and cisterns to capture and reuse stormwater.
Learn more about the new federal stormwater requirements at the EPA.