Washington, DC (February 10, 2009)- The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is developing The Municipal Handbook to help local officials implement green infrastructure in their communities. The handbook is presented as a series of documents (as separate chapters) that cover issues such as financing, operation and maintenance, incentives, designs, codes and ordinances, and a variety of other subjects. The handbook chapters are intended to serve as “how to” manuals on these topics, written primarily from the standpoint of municipal implementation.
EPA is producing the handbook in sections, with each new element being released as it is completed. To date, EPA has released chapters on funding options, retrofit policies, green streets, and rainwater harvesting policies. EPA expects to release two additional chapters in 2009, the first focusing on green infrastructure incentives and the second on codes and ordinances.
This chapter on funding options describes strategies and provides case study examples of how local governments are generating reliable funding for green infrastructure. In order to effectively manage and minimize stormwater runoff with green infrastructure, municipalities must establish sustainable funding sources to move beyond the pilot phase and create a comprehensive green infrastructure program. This document identifies and discusses the two most common funding options communities are using for green stormwater infrastructure- stormwater fees and loan programs. A third source of funding – grant programs- is also available in limited amounts to support green infrastructure projects.
This chapter explores policies and incentives used by municipalities to facilitate green retrofits within their stormwater programs. This document also troubleshoots the institutional and regulatory challenges of incorporating green retrofits into municipal infrastructure, and provides some solutions and case studies.
This chapter evaluates programs and policies used to integrate green infrastructure into public spaces, roads and other transportation networks. The result is often an innovative system that includes a variety design elements such as street trees, permeable pavement, bioretention, and swales. The municipal case studies in this chapter highlight the benefits of greening transportation networks.
Rainwater Harvesting Policies
This chapter addresses harvesting principles, designs, example code requirements, and policies and incentives of implementing a municipal rainwater harvesting program. Rainwater harvesting can reduce stormwater runoff, conserve potable water, and provide environmental and economic benefits. Barriers to implementation are also addressed, and case studies from across the country demonstrate successful rainwater harvesting programs.
Municipal Funding Options
Municipal Retrofit Policies
Municipal Green Streets
Municipal Rainwater Harvesting