Thursday, September 19, 2019

Green infrastructure added to DC's sewer overflows strategy

Washington DC’s long-term combined sewer overflows strategy will now incorporate green infrastructure thanks to a collaboration between the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the District of Columbia and DC Water that was announced on Wednesday.

The addition of green infrastructure, which will include vegetation, soil and natural processes to absorb and store rainwater and the pollution it carries, was made possible by the modification of a 2005 federal consent decree.

“This modification represents significant efforts by all the parties to make green infrastructure an integral part of the solution to curtailing sewer overflows and protecting urban waters,” EPA Regional Administrator Shawn M. Garvin said. “We expect that the green infrastructure components of this modification will provide a model of sustainability for others to follow.”

The green infrastructure will be instrumental in protecting the Rock Creek and Potomac watersheds, which have been facing water quality issues due to pollution carried in collected rainwater.

“This plan puts Washington, D.C. among America’s green city innovators, and it reflects the Justice Department’s and EPA’s commitment to work with cities to safeguard public health, adapt to climate change and improve aging sewer infrastructure using smart and environmentally sound solutions,” Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division John C. Cruden said.

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U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

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