Unpave a Parking Lot and Put up a Paradise: Using Green Infrastructure and Ecosystem Services to Achieve Cost-Effective Compliance
27 Pages Posted: 2 Aug 2012
Date Written: August 1, 2012
Philadelphia has agreed to implement a long-term plan to employ ecosystem services provided by green stormwater control infrastructure to reduce combined sewer overflows (CSO) and achieve compliance with the CSO requirements of the Clean Water Act. The $2.5 billion Green City, Clean Waters Program, to be implemented over 25 years as a part of the City’s larger “Greenworks” sustainability initiative, will save the City approximately $8 billion over traditional grey infrastructure. Green infrastructure projects in developed landscapes require the involvement of private property owners. This presents unique issues and opportunities for public-private partnerships, tax-exempt finance, mechanisms to leverage tax benefits, and to generate co-benefits in energy and recreation. This article examines the applicable requirements of the Clean Water Act, the City’s efforts to implement and finance the program, other similar programs and the possibility of replicating the program in other jurisdictions.
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