green streets_richards


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green streets_richards

  1. 1. Making Great Neighborhoods: Greening Stormwater Permits and Programs Congress for New Urbanism June 13, 2008 Lynn Richards U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Smart Growth Program
  2. 2. “Bad” Responses  Same standards for greenfield development as redevelopment  Can make it harder to redevelop, create dense urban areas  Especially problematic with very high green infrastructure standards  Many SW requirements are trying to do two things:  Regulate stormwater  Fix past ills: retrofitting existing development  Newest standard that is emerging  Pre = post  What is “pre” for a parking lot?  Creates confusion  Stormwater requirements links to planning or other non-environmental outcomes, like affordable housing  Where’s the water quality benefit?!  Cluster development- conservation sub divisions  Maybe a good option in some rural areas, but in general these subdivisions still require significant off site impervious surfaces and significant driving  Requiring sidewalks on only one side of the road
  3. 3. Better Responses  Develop different standards for greenfield development and redevelopment  Recognize land use strategies that have a *direct* water quality benefit  Differentiate between your stormwater standard and a retrofit policy  Retrofit policy should include:  Redevelopment  Parking lots and other large paved areas  Transportation network: streets and roads
  4. 4. State General Stormwater Permit  Proposed by West Virginia and Tennessee  Other states considering  EPA is considering national rule making  All development must use green infrastructure approaches to manage stormwater on site.  Meet a numeric performance standard: 90 % of average annual storm event (WV = 1 inch)  For projects that cannot meet 100% of the requirement on-site, two alternatives are available: off-site mitigation and payment in lieu.
  5. 5. Stormwater Credits  The permit recognizes the water quality benefit of some land use strategies  A 10% reduction from the performance standard:  Redevelopment  Brownfield redevelopment  High Density (7 or more units per acre)  Vertical density (18 or more units or 2.0 FAR)  Mixed Use and Transit-Oriented Development  The largest reduction any one project could receive is 50%
  6. 6. Apply the permit: Atlantic Station
  7. 7. Applying the permit: Atlantic Station  Atlanta Station: Mixed use  Cobb/Fulton: single use low brownfield redevelopment density  139 acres  1200 acres  Runoff generated: 6.7 million  Runoff generated: 26.3 million cu/ft/yr cu/ft/yr  Credits:  No credits available • Brownfield redevelopment (2  Permit would require 1” of runoff credits: 1 for redevelopment, 1 to be managed for brownfield) • High and Vertical density (2  Amount of runoff required to be credits) managed: 23.6 million • Mixed use and TOD (1 credit) cu/ft/yr  Permit would require 1/2” of  Amount of runoff coming off the runoff to be managed site: 2.7 million cu/ft/year  Amount of runoff required to be managed: 3.4 million cu/ft/yr Atlantic Station site produces approx 75% less stormwater  Amount of runoff coming off the site: 3.3 million cu/ft/yr At the end of the year, both sites have approximately the same water quality impact Because of the reduced SW management requirements, developer can save considerable $ and land area
  8. 8. To best protect water quality Preserve, Recycle, Reduce, Reuse  Preserve: Protect and enhance natural features, such as undisturbed forests, meadows, wetlands, and other natural areas.  Recycle: Recycle land by directing development to already degraded land, e.g., parking lots, vacant buildings, abandoned malls.  Reduce: Reduce land consumption and development footprint by using land efficiently  Reuse: Capture and reuse stormwater by directing it back into the into the ground through infiltration, evapotranspiration, or reuse.
  9. 9. How to Implement: EPA’s Water Quality Scorecard  Drivers of impervious cover at regional, neighborhood, site scales  Requires cooperation and conversation between numerous departments  Identifies 21 broad policy areas across 5 different municipal departments  More than 230 different policies, codes, or incentives a local government could implement
  10. 10. 4 Ways to Impact Change  Adopt Plans  Remove Barriers  Create Incentives  Enact Regulations
  11. 11.  Protect Natural Resources and Open Space  Promote Compact Development and Infill  Design Complete, Smart Streets that Reduce Imperviousness  Encourage Efficient Parking Supply  Green Infrastructure On Site
  12. 12. 5.AŃ Green Infrastructure Practices Implementation Tools and Policies Points (1) Question: Are green infrastructure Adopt Plans/Educate: practices encouraged as legal and preferred for managing stormwater runoff? • Inform the public, through education and outreach programs, that green 1 infrastructure practices can be used to manage stormwater runoff on their property. Goal: All types of green infrastructure are allowed and legal. Local government has • Create a training program for internal and external reviews to ensure that the 1 removed all impediments to using green stakeholders that will be using this tool will have the ability to understand and use it infrastructure (including for stormwater effectively. requirements), such as limits on infiltration in right-of-ways, permit challenges for green roofs, concerns about mosquitoes in Remove Barriers: rain barrels, safety issues with permeable pavements, and other such unnecessary • Development and other codes encourage and allow property owners to adopt 1 barriers. home-based green infrastructure practices, such as rain gardens, rain barrels and other rainwater harvesting practices. Why: Green infrastructure approaches have been proven to be more effective and • Review and change, where necessary, building codes or other local regulations to 1 cost efficient than conventional stormwater ensure that all local government departments/agencies have coordinated with one management practices in many instances another to ensure that green infrastructure implementation is legal. and provide other substantial community benefits. Adopt Incentives: • Green infrastructure practices credited towards required controls for stormwater 1 runoff. • Establish a ŅGr een TapeÓexpedited review program for applications that include 1 green infrastructure practices. Enact Regulations: • Zoning and subdivision regulations specifically permit green infrastructure 1 to 4 points facilities, including but not limited to: (1 point for each technique to a maximum of 4 points) --Green roofs; --Infiltration approaches, such as rain gardens, curb extensions, planter gardens,
  13. 13. Thank You Lynn Richards, EPA’s Smart Growth Program 202-566-2858