Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Green Infrastructure for Clean Water Act Introduced in Senate and House

On May 27, Senators Ben Cardin (D-MD), Tom Udall (D-NM) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) introduced the Green Infrastructure for Clean Water Act of 2011.  The bill’s sponsors say that the measure would address the nation's water quality challenges by encouraging the research, development and promotion of new technologies and designs that use natural processes to combat polluted stormwater runoff.  The bill calls for EPA to use a competitive grant program to establish Centers of Excellence for green infrastructure, each charged with conducting research on green infrastructure that is relevant to the geographic region in which the Center is located, and provide communities with training and technical assistance on how to implement green infrastructure best management practices.  The legislation would also provide incentive funding to help communities develop green infrastructure technologies, and would establish a green infrastructure program within the EPA's Office of Water to coordinate and promote the use of new stormwater technologies.

Companion legislation has been introduced in the House by Representatives Donna Edwards (D-MD-4) and Russ Carnahan (D-MO-3) (the House measure has 15 co-sponsors).   

Comparable Senate and House versions of the same legislation were introduced during the last session of Congress, but neither advanced out of their respective committees.

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