Washington, DC - American Rivers, the nation’s leading voice for clean water and healthy rivers, today applauded Senators Tom Udall (D-NM), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Representatives Donna Edwards (D-MD) and Russ Carnahan (D-MO) for introducing the ‘Green Infrastructure for Clean Water Act of 2011’ to the Senate and House, respectively.
This legislation is an important step forward in addressing polluted runoff by prioritizing smart stormwater management strategies that work with the natural landscape to infiltrate and reuse rainwater to protect our clean water supplies and reduce localized flooding. By providing opportunities and establishing mechanisms for communities to pursue green infrastructure solutions, this approach can become a new norm rather than just a best practice.
“Clean water is vital to our health, safety, and quality of life. This bill will help communities nationwide safeguard clean water and healthy rivers,” said Stacey Detwiler, Clean Water Associate at American Rivers.
Green infrastructure provides a 21st century approach to managing polluted runoff that threatens our clean water supplies and the health of our communities. By treating rainwater where it falls, green infrastructure practices filter out contaminants and reduce the volume of stormwater that overwhelms our water infrastructure and pollutes our streams and rivers. Many communities around the country including Toledo, Milwaukee, Philadelphia, New York City and Lenexa, Kansas use green infrastructure as a key component of their strategy to cost effectively achieve clean water.
From green roofs to permeable pavement to cisterns, green infrastructure approaches provide flexible solutions to protect our clean water and save communities money. For example, the city of Portland, Oregon spent $8 million to subsidize downspout disconnections for homeowners, saving the city $250 million in hard infrastructure fixes and keeping one billion gallons of stormwater out of the City’s combined sewer system every year. Green infrastructure also provides multiple benefits to communities by saving energy, reducing air pollution and increasing property values.
“By increasing research and development of innovative green infrastructure techniques, promoting the consistent use of green infrastructure within the Environmental Protection Agency, and providing incentive funding to communities to plan, develop, and install green infrastructure technologies, this bill will help revitalize communities nationwide,” said Detwiler. “We applaud Representatives Edwards and Carnahan and Senators Udall, Whitehouse and Cardin for their leadership in protecting the nation’s clean water and healthy rivers.”
American Rivers is the leading organization working to protect and restore the nation’s rivers and streams. Rivers connect us to each other, nature, and future generations. Since 1973, American Rivers has fought to preserve these connections, helping protect and restore more than 150,000 miles of rivers through advocacy efforts, on-the-ground projects, and the annual release of America’s Most Endangered Rivers®.
Headquartered in Washington, DC, American Rivers has offices across the country and more than 100,000 supporters, members, and volunteers nationwide. Visit www.americanrivers.org, www.facebook.com/americanrivers and www.twitter.com/americanrivers.