Green City, Clean Waters: A National Model

Publication Date: April 25, 2012

Photo Courtesy United States Environmental Protection AgencyPhiladelphia's groundbreaking Green City, Clean Waters plan continues to draw national attention as a model for controlling urban storm runoff, the biggest pollution threat to clean water.

Earlier this month, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson (pictured at left giving remarks in Philadelphia last year) signed a landmark agreement with the city, through which the Federal government will invest nearly $2 billion to help implement the plan, using it as a demonstration project to educate other cities on how to address their own stormwater challenges.

“The Green City, Clean Waters Partnership promises to lead the way for communities across the nation, which can use the lessons learned through this long-term project to protect their health, safeguard their waters and boost their economies,” said Jackson at the signing ceremony.

The plan calls for a variety of urban infrastructure improvements, such as imperviouGreenInfra-Tools_v5-web.jpgs pavement, rooftop gardens, and other methods of capturing rainwater at the surface. These measures help to prevent sewer overflows that pollute rivers and waterways with human and industrial waste.

The image to the right, taken from the city’s plan, shows several types of green infrastructure tools. (Click the image for a larger version.)

The full Green City, Clean Waters plan is Green City Clean Waters Philadelphia Water Departmentavailable from the City of Philadelphia’s Water Department here.

A documentary about Philadelphia’s cutting edge stormwater management strategy will air on WHYY TV-12 starting April 26, 2012. Visit WHYY for current airtimes and listings.

A video about Green City, Clean Waters, produced by WPF grantee, Greentreks Network, is below.