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Green Infrastructure Porous Pavement Project Completed in Arlington, Mass.

Release Date: 11/20/2012
Contact Information: David Deegan, (617) 918-1017

(Boston, Mass. – Nov. 20, 2012) – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency joined community members and officials from Arlington, Mass. to celebrate the completion of a porous pavement parking lot at Hurd Field that will help protect water quality in a local stream.

In the summer of 2012, EPA collaborated with the Town of Arlington on a project to pave the Hurd Field parking lot and educate community members and municipal officials about the benefits of using porous pavement to improve water quality and reduce stormwater runoff.  The project resurfaced a portion of the Hurd Field parking lot with porous pavement that is designed to infiltrate 100 percent of precipitation from most storms, reducing pollutants caused by stormwater to the adjacent Mill Brook.  The project was completed in early September.

“Using porous pavement is an excellent way to reduce stormwater runoff into nearby water bodies. This green infrastructure helps water to drain naturally back into the earth, filtering traces of nutrients and other contamination that can harm water quality in the environment,” said Curt Spalding, regional administrator or EPA’s New England office. “We are pleased to be able to work closely with Arlington as they apply an innovative technology for stormwater control.” 

"We're very pleased with the results of this collaborative project with EPA," said Arlington Town Manager, Adam Chapdelaine. "The lot has been updated with environmental benefits to protect the neighboring Mill Brook, providing an important step in the Town's overall stormwater mitigation efforts."

Hurd Field’s parking lot is adjacent to Mill Brook, an important tributary in the Mystic River Watershed. Mill Brook receives a significant amount of stormwater runoff and is on the impaired waters list for pathogens. Porous pavement allows water to infiltrate into the soil through gaps in all the layers to the groundwater, naturally filtering out pollutants such as phosphorus and pathogens.  This project also reduces the impact of flooding during storm events, eliminates the need for sanding and reduces the need for road salt in winter months.  The Mystic River Watershed Association (MyRWA) plans to install a rain garden adjacent to the lot as part of the collaborative project.

“The Mystic River Watershed Association works diligently to promote restoration of environmental conditions in the watershed to a healthy state. Polluted stormwater inputs are among the most significant challenges facing the rivers, streams and lakes of the watershed today. This pilot project will demonstrate how porous pavement can help eliminate stormwater pollution while providing a more resilient approach to stormwater flooding. The Association congratulates the Town of Arlington on its good work with thanks to the US EPA for its support of Mystic River communities,” said EkOngKar Singh Khalsa, Executive Director of the Mystic River Watershed Association.

EPA and the Town of Arlington plan to observe the parking lot over time to better understand the longer-term performance of porous asphalt, and to educate municipal officials and watershed groups on this technology.  Site selection, design, and asphalt mixture production and application are key components to a successful project.  Going forward, the site will require regular vacuuming as well as other maintenance to prevent the asphalt from clogging.

More information: 

- Details on the porous pavement project in Arlington (www.epa.gov/mysticriver/porouspavementproject.html)

- Local impacts and updates (www.arlingtonma.gov/dpwprojects)

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