Dec. 8, 2009
EPA Releases Guidance to Help Federal Facilities Better Manage Stormwater
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued guidance to help federal agencies minimize the impact of federal development projects on nearby water bodies. The guidance is being issued in response to a change in law and Executive Order 13514, "Federal Leadership in Environmental, Energy, and Economic Performance" signed by President Obama on October 5, 2009, which calls upon all federal agencies to lead by example to address a wide range of environmental issues, including stormwater runoff.
"EPA is proud to issue this new guidance to help federal facilities reduce stormwater pollution," said Peter S. Silva, assistant administrator for EPA's Office of Water. "By taking these steps to create more sustainable facilities, federal agencies can lead by example in reducing impacts in the local watershed."
EPA worked closely with other federal agencies to develop this document, which provides background information, key definitions, case studies and guidance on meeting the new requirements of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007.
Under the new requirements, federal agencies must minimize stormwater runoff from federal development projects to protect water resources. Federal agencies can comply using a variety of stormwater management practices often referred to as "green infrastructure" or "low impact development" practices, including reducing impervious surfaces, using vegetative practices, using porous pavements and installing green roofs.
EPA is using sustainable techniques for reducing the effects of stormwater runoff at its facilities, such as installing a 3,000 square foot green roof as well as using rain gardens and cisterns to capture and reuse stormwater.
Stormwater runoff in urban and suburban areas is one of the leading sources of water pollution in the United States. Runoff can cause increased flooding and erosion and more pollution to surface waters.