Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Scranton Gets EPA Support For Green Infrastructure In Iron Arts District

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Wednesday announced the City of Scranton is one of 14 communities nationwide to receive EPA support to expand the use of green infrastructure to reduce water pollution and boost resilience to the impacts of climate change.
The Scranton Sewer Authority will receive technical support of $25,000 to help incorporate green infrastructure into a comprehensive master plan for the newly-developing Scranton Iron Arts District. The green features are included in the city’s long term plan to control combined sewer overflows.
The EPA funding is in support of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan, which directs federal agencies to identify climate-resilient investments such as agency grants and technical assistance for communities across the country.
“The EPA assistance will help the Scranton Sewer Authority realize its goals of reducing sewer overflows and increasing economic revitalization in the Iron Arts District,” said EPA Regional Administrator Shawn M. Garvin. “Green infrastructure benefits cities like Scranton by reducing water pollution and energy consumption, improving economic activity, and building resilience to the impacts of climate change.”
According to the sewer authority’s application, the project merges master plan goals for the low-income Iron Arts District with the city’s strategies to reduce and treat combined sewer overflows and upgrade municipal stormwater compliance.
The EPA assistance will support the first large-scale development project in the Greater Scranton Area that incorporates green infrastructure in the design. The demonstration project will help the Sewer Authority measure and assess impacts of green infrastructure on a neighborhood-wide scale.
The project is expected to leverage additional funding to continue revitalization initiatives in the neighborhood that will improve aesthetics, direct runoff away from the combined sewer system and improve water quality, according to the application.
In the last three years, EPA has provided $2.2 million to 37 communities for green infrastructure. This new funding continues the agency’s support for communities using green infrastructure to reduce water pollution and protect human health while increasing economic activity, job creation, energy savings and open space.
Green infrastructure builds resilience to the impacts of climate change, particularly by reducing the burden on local water infrastructure.
Green infrastructure decreases pollution to local waterways by treating rain where it falls and keeping polluted stormwater from entering sewer systems.
For more information on the green infrastructure assistance, progress reports and strategy, visit EPA’s Green Infrastructure webpage.

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