Tuesday, March 22, 2022

Penn State Center Pittsburgh Offers Program In Green Stormwater Infrastructure

Conservationists in Pittsburgh are taking a condensed course in green infrastructure as part of a certification program offered by the Penn State Center Pittsburgh, a service of Penn State Outreach.

The National Green Infrastructure Certification Program (NGICP) is a 35-hour series presented in the spring and fall at the center, in collaboration with the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority. 

The certification program covers design, installation, inspection and maintenance of green stormwater infrastructure relating to the Pennsylvania Best Management Practices manual and is administered by EnviroCert International Inc. (ECI).

One of the teams enrolled in the NGICP is from the Allegheny County Conservation District (ACCD), which is responsible for protecting, improving and conserving natural resources in Allegheny County. 

Heather Manzo, executive director for the Allegheny County Conservation District, said the organization works in a unique way to provide technical assistance and funding to municipalities working to solve water-related issues in their communities.

“The ACCD regulates construction projects requiring National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System and Waterway encroachment permits,” said Manzo. “Those programs exist to ensure that when earth and waterways are disturbed by human activity, proper best management practices required by law are in place. This work is essential to ensure that our communities are supported by functioning ecosystems and safe infrastructure that are resilient as weather patterns shift.”

Manzo said ACCD chose to offer the NGICP to all district staff as an extra layer of training.

“The program gave our staff an elevated baseline and additional tools that will translate to a more sophisticated review of designs and permit applications. It also enhances field work by providing real life examples of well-designed projects that include green infrastructure,” Manzo said. “We plan on offering new staff the opportunity to attend annually. It is a good investment in our staff, and the future health of our communities.”

Kalin Drennen, GIS and data manager for ACCD, said the program enabled him to visualize construction plan details and what to expect on site during inspections.

“The training helped me to understand the various types of green infrastructure that are being constructed, how they differ, when they should be used, and how to best inspect them during post-construction to ensure they are functioning as designed,” Drennen said.

Makenzie Priest, resource conservationist for the Allegheny County Conservation District, said becoming certified through NGICP has prepared her when meeting with clients ahead of job design.

“I often use the knowledge gained from NGICP in pre-application meetings in order to guide consultants and developers toward using green infrastructure in their stormwater designs,” Priest said. “The resources provided along with the course are great sources for information on applicability of green infrastructure designs.”

NGICP is open to all industry professionals looking to learn more about green infrastructure in Pittsburgh. 

The cost of registration is $600 per person for private sector companies and $400 per person for public and nonprofit organizations. The total cost covers the $100 application verification through ECI. 

The spring program, which is full, runs March 21 to April 12, but there will be another session available in the fall.

To learn more about NGICP, visit the Penn State Center Pittsburgh online or contact David Himes, sustainable communities manager for the Penn State Center Pittsburgh, at davidhimes@psu.edu

(Reprinted from Penn State News.)

[Posted: March 22, 2022]  PA Environment Digest

No comments :

Post a Comment

Subscribe To Receive Updates:

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner