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EPA Awards the City of Santa Monica $60,000 to Reduce Water Pollution, Build Resilience to Climate Change

Release Date: 05/01/2014
Contact Information: Nahal Mogharabi,, 213-244-1815

$860,000 awarded to 14 communities across the country

— The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today announced approximately $60,000 to help the City of Santa Monica design a stormwater diversion system that will be used to reduce runoff, protect water quality, and replace potable water used to irrigate parkland.

“By investing in green infrastructure, Santa Monica is taking another step towards its goal of eliminating the use of imported water by 2020,” said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA’s Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “Its project to reuse stormwater will reduce water pollution and create jobs at the same time.”

With these funds, EPA will provide technical support to the City of Santa Monica for the design of a stormwater diversion, storage, and treatment system that will harvest urban runoff from an underground storm drain, and use it for irrigation, replacing potable water. The project will help the City enhance its local water supply and help reduce imported water.

Nationwide, EPA has awarded a total of $860,000 to help 14 communities expand their use of green infrastructure to reduce water pollution and boost resilience to the impacts of climate change. The funding supports President Obama’s Climate Action Plan, which directs federal agencies to support community-based preparedness and resilience efforts across the country.

In the last three years, EPA has provided $2.2 million to 37 communities for green infrastructure. 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. Green infrastructure builds resilience to the impacts of climate change, in large part by reducing the burden on local water infrastructure.

In 2012, a Los Angeles-based Non Governmental Organization, the Council for Watershed Health, was selected to receive technical assistance for the preparation of the report Green Infrastructure Opportunities and Barriers in the Greater Los Angeles Region. In addition to the City of Santa Monica the remaining funds were awarded to the following 13 communities:
    Ada County, Idaho - EPA assistance will help explore stormwater mitigation techniques, concepts, and financing options to support green infrastructure in an area undergoing redevelopment.
    Albuquerque, New Mexico – EPA assistance will help with the design and specifications of a rooftop vegetable garden, which will recycle captured rainwater for irrigation.
    Bath, Maine - EPA assistance will help produce a feasibility study and conceptual design for a green infrastructure project in order to mitigate flooding and combined sewer overflows while stabilizing and improving the neighborhood.
    Buffalo, New York – EPA assistance will help develop a protocol and institutional controls for post-demolition stormwater assessments to verify stormwater control performance and ensure that properties retain their stormwater control during redevelopment.
    Clarkesville, Georgia - EPA assistance will help design green infrastructure solutions for a highly impervious downtown area within a small community.
    Denver, Colorado – EPA assistance will support the completion of green infrastructure practice criteria suited for ultra-urban environments and transportation projects including design elements, maintenance procedures, and schedules.
    Fall River, Massachusetts – EPA assistance will help with the evaluation and concept design of tree plantings to address combined sewer overflows, stormwater and air quality issues, urban heat island effect, and climate change adaptation.
    Iowa City, Iowa – EPA assistance will help develop conceptual designs for green infrastructure practices for a riverfront property prone to flooding, which is being converted into park space.
    Milwaukee, Wisconsin - EPA assistance will help develop a model utility operation and maintenance plan to ensure green infrastructure practices are properly maintained and effective in reducing stormwater runoff.
    Norfolk, Virginia – EPA assistance will help identify green infrastructure alternatives to improve water quality and address shoreline erosion for a waterway in an urban area with a need to plan for how changes in sea level rise will affect green infrastructure methodology.
    Pueblo de Cochiti, New Mexico – EPA assistance will help prepare a plan that will integrate green infrastructure into land use planning, stormwater management, infrastructure improvements, transportation planning and open space for community members.
    Saint Paul, Minnesota – EPA assistance will help produce a green infrastructure feasibility study for a waterfront stormwater park in a vacated industrial area undergoing redevelopment.
    Scranton, Pennsylvania - EPA assistance will help incorporate green infrastructure included under the city’s combined sewer overflow long-term control plan into a comprehensive master plan for a newly developing arts district.

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.

More information on the green infrastructure assistance, progress reports and strategy: