Developing Green Infrastructure Solutions: Stormwater Management Workshop and Presentation

American Rivers hosted the workshop Solutions for Municipalities Managing Stormwater at Swarthmore College in January 2009. The workshop was conducted to present sound stormwater management to municipalities and their engineers, citizen-based watershed groups, and civic leadership.

The first track of the workshop reviewed problems associated with stormwater runoff, particularly in Pennsylvania, and green infrastructure solutions. Participants were given American Rivers’ report, Local Water Policy Innovation: A Road Map for Community Based Stormwater Solutions.

This introductory session highlighted local initiatives for:

  • the large urban Philadelphia program
  • a demonstration effort for the outlying municipality of Springfield
  • an on-site application of green infrastructure at Radnor Middle School

The remainder of the track created enlightening discussion through a series of panel discussions:

Planning Consideration: Reaching Water Quality Goals, and Regulatory and Guidance Drivers

  • Consultant Bruce Gilmore and Harry Campbell, Chesapeake Bay Foundation, linked green infrastructure solutions to specific clean water benefits when applied to urban stormwater planning
  • Paula Estornell, EPA Water Protection Division, provided federal perspectives on stormwater regulation and highlighted expectations for a more robust urban stormwater permit and stronger compliance
  • Barry Newman, PA-DEP Bureau of Watershed Management, provided state perspectives on stormwater regulatory programs

Management Considerations: Community Engagement, and Funding Stormwater Work Now and in the Future

  • Barry Lewis, Green Treks Network, described outreach through internet applications
  • Stuart Echols, Penn State Department of Landscape, emphasized the importance of visually appealing stormwater solutions
  • Mindy Lemoine, Pennsylvania Environmental Council, described a Philadelphia community effort to make stormwater practices easy to accept within a community
  • The Darby Creek Valley Association described a project utilizing community members for “hands-on” implementation of “backyard” stormwater practices

Applying Funding to Green Infrastructure Solutions

  • Steve Allbee, EPA, discussed the need to “green” asset management
  • Joanne Denworth, Office of the Governor, spoke about policy directions that include suggestions for innovative, green practices for water management
  • Paul Marchetti, Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority, described that state’s interest in green infrastructure and the expectation for stimulus funding applied to the State Revolving Fund to include “green” set asides
  • Howard Neukrug discussed local programs by describing specific green infrastructure approaches within the City’s planning and the challenges to find adequate funding

The second track of the workshop presented design and implementation of municipal stormwater programs using green infrastructure. 

Tom Shueler, Chesapeake Stormwater Network, took participants through the steps of developing a small urban stormwater program with a five-session presentation.  The sessions provide practical advice to municipalities implementing on-the-ground solutions.  Click on a session to view the presentation (PDF).

Tom also provided workshop participants with additional resources (PDF):