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EPA Awards $65,000 to Pima County to Reduce Water Pollution, Build Resilience to Climate Change

Release Date: 10/25/2013
Contact Information: Margot Perez-Sullivan, perezsullivan.margot@epa.gov

SAN FRANCISCO — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced $65,000 in funds to help Pima County expand its use of green infrastructure to reduce water pollution and boost resilience to the impacts of climate change. The funding will help the county complete a green infrastructure guidance manual.

The southern Arizona project is one of six announced today in support of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan, which directs federal agencies to identify climate-resilient investments such as agency grants and technical assistance for communities across the country.  Green infrastructure builds resilience to the impacts of climate change, particularly by reducing the burden on local water infrastructure.

“Investing in green infrastructure pays off for our environment and our economy,” said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA’s Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “We support Pima County’s effort to create a detailed guide for the construction of green infrastructure designed to fit its desert environment.”

Green infrastructure decreases pollution to local waterways by treating rain where it falls and keeping polluted stormwater from entering sewer systems. Green infrastructure tools and techniques include green roofs, permeable materials, alternative designs for streets and buildings, trees, rain gardens and rain harvesting systems. Communities are increasingly using innovative green infrastructure to supplement or substitute for “gray” infrastructure such as pipes, filters, and ponds.

In the last two years, EPA has provided $1.35 million to more than 20 communities for green infrastructure. To share lessons learned from green infrastructure projects, EPA is releasing a series of reports highlighting the work of communities that received technical assistance from the agency in 2012, including Denver, Los Angeles, Phoenix, and Portland.


EPA is also announcing funds for green infrastructure to Detroit, Mich., Lincoln, Neb., Gary, Ind., Spartanburg, S.C., and Providence, R.I. This new funding continues the agency’s support for communities using green infrastructure to reduce water pollution and protect human health while increasing economic activity and neighborhood revitalization, job creation, energy savings, and open space.
EPA has also released a new report analyzing the economic benefits of green infrastructure in 13 locations to help utilities, states, municipalities, and other stormwater professionals understand the potential financial benefits in their communities. Green infrastructure typically can cost less than traditional water infrastructure. Locations in the report include Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn. Milwaukee, Wis., Portland, Ore., and West
Union, Iowa.

More information on the green infrastructure assistance, progress reports and strategy: http://water.epa.gov/infrastructure/greeninfrastructure/gi_support.cfm.
More information on the economic benefits case studies: http://www.epa.gov/nps/lid