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Reduce Costs by Using Low Impact Development Practices

Release Date: 01/08/2008
Contact Information: Shakeba Carter-Jenkins, (202) 564-4355 / carter-jenkins.shakeba@epa.gov

(1/8/08) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has released a new report "Reducing Stormwater Costs through Low Impact Development (LID) Strategies and Practices," which contains 17 case studies from across North America that show the economic viability of LID practices. Using these practices in construction projects can lower costs while improving environmental results.

LID practices are innovative stormwater management practices to manage urban stormwater runoff at its source. The goal is to mimic the way water moved through an area before it was developed by using design techniques that infiltrate, evapotranspirate, and reuse runoff close to its source. Some common LID practices include rain gardens, grassed swales, cisterns, rain barrels, permeable pavements and green roofs. LID practices increasingly are used by communities across the country to help protect and restore water quality.

The report highlights examples that, in most cases, reduce project costs while improving environmental performance. Total capital savings ranged from 15 to 80 percent, with a few exceptions in which LID project costs were higher than conventional stormwater management costs. As LID practices become more common, it is likely that they will become cheaper to use.

For a copy of the report: epa.gov/owow/nps/lid/costs07/