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Creating Green Infrastructure

about how to establish a program to make that a reality.  Learn about tools like the Green Infrastructure Portfolio Standard, how to set a measurable goal and implement your project, and address challenges in financing. 

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Creating Green Infrastructure

  1. 1. Creating a Green Stormwater Infrastructure Program Gary Belan Senior Director, Clean Water Supply Program February 9th, 2016
  2. 2. That range will increase with climate change Dry More frequent and intense droughts More frequent and intense storms Many places will also experience a shifting average. Wet
  3. 3. Resilience in an age of climate change Dry Wet This will require significant changes in policies and practices as well as innovation and cooperation. Level of resilience must increase to account for climate change
  4. 4.  What is One Water? The One Water approach considers the urban water cycle as a single integrated system, in which all urban water flows are recognized as potential resources, and the interconnectedness of water supply, groundwater, stormwater and wastewater is optimized, and their combined impact on flooding, water quality, wetlands, watercourses, estuaries and coastal waters are recognized. Integrated Water Management “One Water”
  5. 5. WERF Sustainable Integrated Water Management Challenge Optimize: Green Infrastructure implementation through analysis of co-benefits, maintenance needs, and gathering performance data. Transition: Alternative Water Sources and Integrated Planning into practice through developing Tools, Permitting Guides, and Technical Requirements for new technologies. Transform: Watershed Management through engagement of partners including Urban Planners, Agricultural Operations, and Forestry Programs & other stakeholders. Need for Innovative Institutions
  6. 6. Stormwater control measures that harvest, infiltrate, and evapotranspirate stormwater are “critical to reducing the volume and pollutant loading of small storms.” - National Research Council Report, 2008 Rain barrel, Delaware County, PA Green roof, Heinz Center, Pittsburgh, PA Rain garden, Portland, OR Green Infrastructure BMP’s
  7. 7. Urban vs. Rural
  8. 8. Impacts on the Hydropgraph
  9. 9. 1. Outreach 2. Metrics and Goals 3. Local Policy 4. Implementation 5. Maintenance 6. Valuing and Financing Elements of a Green Infrastructure Program
  10. 10. Public Outreach
  11. 11. Public Outreach  Starters  Rain garden initiatives  Rain barrel sales  Community workshops  Scouting projects  More involved  Municipal Task Force  Integration with Sustainability or Climate Change Plans  Development of Green Infrastructure Plans
  12. 12. Green Infrastructure Training Platform
  13. 13.
  14. 14. Public Initiatives Toledo, OH Grand Rapids, MI Charlottesville, VA
  15. 15.  This task force should be broad and collaborative  Initially it should include all relevant city agencies, but can be broadened to include non-governmental partners  Examples:  Sustainability Director  Chief Engineer  City Development Director  Director Department of Public Works  Director Parks Department  Director of City Transportation/Transportation Engineer  City GIS and mapping team members Establish a task force
  16. 16. Metrics and Goals
  17. 17.  Examples:  Reducing the number of combined sewer overflows  Improving water quality  Increase in green space  More specific metrics will come later. It’s important to know what your are trying to accomplish first Green Infrastructure Portfolio Standard  Commit to a broad measurable goal
  18. 18.  Based on experience in the first year  What percentage of our baseline are we expecting to capture?  How replicable is this from year to year?  Establish an annual goal based on this analysis that is achievable yet moves the bar  1%-2% annual reduction is our recommendation  Reasonable to do some averaging over a series of years do to construction timelines Establish an annual goal
  19. 19. Benefits of a GI Portfolio Standard Advantages similar to Renewable Portfolio Standards: • Long-term program: 10 – 20 years or more • Small annual goals: 1% – 2% per year • Flexible: allows use of infiltration, evapotranspiration and harvesting water for reuse • Gives staff the ability to plan ahead, learn from experience, adjust • Cost effective way to make progress • Green Infrastructure Portfolio Standard
  20. 20.  Progress toward meeting GIPS goal is based upon designed performance, and not actual performance of installed green infrastructure. Obtaining actual retention data through empirical testing is encouraged where practicable, as this will allow a municipality to:  1.Confirm design criteria and intended benefits;  2.Measure additional benefits and adjust performance goals as necessary;  3.Demonstrate value of investment in infrastructure, and may:  4.Help to meet current or future regulatory requirements. Monitor Progress
  21. 21. Local Policy
  22. 22.  Permitting Green Infrastructure: A Guide to Improving Municipal Stormwater Permits and Protecting Water Quality  MS4 Permit types with Green Infrastructure Components  E.g. Standard Based on Percentile Storm, Comparable to E.I.S.A. Section 438  Excerpts from Public Comment Letters on MS4 Permits  Link at: Municipal Stormwater Permits
  23. 23. I. Why local stormwater controls can be effective II. Understanding the political landscape III. Choosing a local policy IV. Understanding key components of your stormwater ordinance V. Mobilizing Community Support Local Water Policy (More of a guide than a tool)
  24. 24. 1. Review current zoning code for regulatory barriers and quick improvements 2. Some zoning codes are “prescriptive” – requiring the use particular design features to control stormwater. 3. Take additional measures to reduce impervious surfaces 4. Promote the use of Specific LID Techniques 5. Use “Overlay Districts” to add new requirements to existing zoning districts The following Ten Guidelines are intended to guide you in the selection of potential stormwater measures.
  25. 25. The other half…. 6. Create standards to improve stormwater management in developed areas 7. Address the storage and use of pollutants that may come in contact with stormwater 8. Create and protect buffers for water resources 9. Require LID techniques for municipal projects 10. Connect zoning decisions to a comprehensive plan
  26. 26. EPA’s Water Quality Score Card
  27. 27.  This scorecard is a locally controlled self-assessment and guide for better incorporating green infrastructure practices at the municipal, neighborhood, and site scales.  Best if multiple departments are involved.  Documents needed include:  Zoning Ordinances  Subdivision Codes  Street Standards or Design Guidelines  Parking Requirements  Setbacks  Height Limitations  Open Space or Natural Resource Plans  Comprehensive Plans Policy: The Scorecard
  28. 28.
  29. 29. Building & Implementation
  30. 30. Implementation  Have a plan  Choose the right contractor  Choose the right designer  Be aware of compaction Link at:
  31. 31. Aspects to consider  Site selection  BMP Selection  Soil media selection  Proper Storage Volume Calculated
  32. 32. Maintenance
  33. 33.  Was it built correctly?  Does designed storage volume match actual storage volume?  Are maintenance requirements properly understood?  Function  Aesthetics  Safety  Costs of Maintenance  Annual inspection and maintenance on sand filter - $1500  Cost to reconstruct sand filter: $30,000 Maintenance Staying Green: Strategies to Improve Operations and Maintenance of Green Infrastructure in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed
  34. 34. Other Considerations:  BMP’s need:  Regular inspection  Protection from sediment  Regular trash cleaning  Watch out for:  Confining layers in bioretention , particularly during construction (construction sequence is key).  Clogged outlets  Cattails  Clogged permeable pavement (please vacuum). NCSU BMP Inspection and Maintenance Certification Program
  35. 35. Valuing & Financing
  36. 36. Financing Insecurity  Loans and grants go to “old” infrastructure  Bonds support large capital projects  Ratepayers can’t fund maintenance, let alone innovation Problem : Communities challenged to finance sustainable infrastructure that meets current and future needs.
  37. 37. Key Challenges:  Identify new financing techniques for sustainable infrastructure  Directing private capital toward sustainable water management  Build new partnerships Link at:
  38. 38.  Local Government Stormwater Financing Manual by Environmental Finance Center:   Economic Value of Riparian Buffers   Funding Green Infrastructure in PA   Incentivizing Clean Water: A Great Lakes guide to incentivizing green infrastructure through stormwater credit programs. Financing Resources
  39. 39. Valuing Green Infrastructure: Link at:
  40. 40. Valuing Green Infrastructure: What are the measureable benefits?
  41. 41. Valuing Green Infrastructure: How does it work? This guide focuses only on benefits – It’s not a cost/benefit analysis  Two step process – 1. Quantification 2. Valuation  Focus of equations on 4 areas 1. Water 2. Energy 3. Air Quality 4. Climate Change
  42. 42. Seems small, but when you add it up: A recent analysis of Lancaster, PA’s green infrastructure plan (both current and planned green infrastructure) show estimated total benefits over 25 years at approximately: $127,000,000 The bulk of this came in reduced infrastructure needs. Case study at:
  43. 43.  Full life-cycle analysis beyond scope of this guide  This includes O&M  Local Performance and Regional Impacts need to be considered  Spatial scaling limitations  For larger projects, a discounting analysis is recommended  Prices in some of the equations may have some variability  Double Counting Valuing Green Infrastructure: Limitations
  44. 44. Questions? The End

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  • emilbergs

    Mar. 9, 2018

about how to establish a program to make that a reality.  Learn about tools like the Green Infrastructure Portfolio Standard, how to set a measurable goal and implement your project, and address challenges in financing. 


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