Green Roofs - Living Architecture Monitor - Summer 2012 - (Page 18)

POLICY & STANDARDS THE NEXT POsITIVE sTEPs FOR gREEN INFRAsTRUCTURE IN THE UNITED sTATEs THE EpA, THE Ny DEp AND GREEN INfRASTRUCTURE by: DyLAN DONAHUE, GRp I n the last few years, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (NYC DEP) have developed increasingly progressive plans to tackle problems associated with aging infrastructure. In April, 2011, the EPA announced a new strategic agenda renewing the agency’s support for green infrastructure. The Green Infrastructure Plan outlines what the agency’s actions will be and how they intend to accomplish those set goals. They define green infrastructure as “an approach that communities can choose to maintain healthy waters, provide multiple environmental benefits and support sustainable communities. Unlike singlepurpose gray storm water in- frastructure, which uses pipes to dispose of rainwater, green infrastructure uses vegetation and soil to manage rainwater where it falls. By weaving natural processes into the built environment, green infrastructure provides not only storm water management, but also flood mitigation, air quality management, and much more.” Instead of single use “gray infrastructure,” green infrastructure aims to mimic natural processes to accomplish multiple goals at once. In February 2012, the EPA announced an opportunity for communities to apply to receive direct assistance for projects that facilitate the use of green infrastructure to protect water quality. This is in addition to the partnerships they announced last year. They plan to give between $50100k for 10-20 projects totaling approximately $950,000. They have already begun this process by partnering with ten communities beginning in April of 2011. The EPA has also drafted Policy Memos to clarify its role. Many of these memos deal specifically with protecting water quality and managing storm water, specifically in areas with Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO). At Greensulate, we are convinced that a green roof is one of the best ways to manage storm water runoff and filter a variety of harsh chemicals and metals before waste water makes its way back into shared waterways. In September of 2010 New York City’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) released its own green infrastructure/stormwater grant program designating $3 million in 2011 and another $4 million in 2012. The city has continued plans of spending upwards of $1.5 billion over the next 20-years to implement the Green Infrastructure Plan. The grant program can be seen at In the case of the NYC DEP, projects that show effective, and replicable, ways to reduce storm water flow (controlling the dangerous “first flush” being of significant importance) are awarded grant funding. This allows the city to take note of different emerging technologies, and their varying rates of success over the years. Once proven to be successful, green technologies can be applied to city buildings, or incentivized in the private sector. Certain projects have a higher chance of being awarded grant funding based on location and function. Over the past two years, rooftop farms have received a significant amount of available funding. Other great candidates tend to be roofs that are in areas with poorly functioning CSO’s. The EPA has yet to make a significant investment into green infrastructure; it seems they are becoming more comfortable with the idea. In the meantime, they are compiling research in an effort to help those wanting to get involved and assisting states and local governments with startups. Dylan Donahue worked as a project manager for Greensulate in New York City. He is an accredited Green Roof Professional and has been working in the green roofing industry for over 2 years. FinD OUT MOrE For more information, please see LIVING ARCHITECTURE MONITOR / SUMMER 2012 / 18

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Green Roofs - Living Architecture Monitor - Summer 2012

Green Roofs - Living Architecture Monitor - Summer 2012
Letter from the Chairman
From the Founder
New Standard on the Use of Lightweight Aggregate
Urban Agriculture Declaration Caps Amazing Summit Debut
Economics of Biophilic Design
Brad Rowe, David Spalding, Cornelia Oberlander, Paul Kephart
Green Roofing Industry Sees Triple Digit Growth
Green Roof Local Market Symposiums
Industry Professionals Weigh in on Growing Media Quality Control!
CitiesAlive in Chicago Oct 17th – 19th
Green Infrastructure Ontario Coalition Changes our Perspectives on Infrastructure
Improving Tax Abatement
10th Anniversary Commemorative Pull Out Section
Halifax Seaport Farmer’s Market
Leadership Knows No Bounds- Virginia Russell
Policy Profile- A Home for Biodiversity on Green Roofs
New Industry Products
Plant Profile: Chives Thrive on Green Roofs
Half a year, Full-Fledged Growth
In God We Trust – All Others Bring Data!
New Corporate Members
Professional Calendar
GRHC Buyers Guide
Green Supremacy by Zach Williams

Green Roofs - Living Architecture Monitor - Summer 2012