EPA's Stormwater Management Actions
In This Section
- Stormwater Management Projects for New Construction
- Stormwater Management Retrofit Projects
- Best Practices and Techniques
- Adopting EISA Section 438 Guidance
- Inventorying Existing Stormwater Practices
- Developing Long-Term Stormwater Management Retrofit Plans
- Cincinnati, Ohio - Andrew W. Breidenbach Environmental Research Center (AWBERC)
AWBERC has implemented several LID techniques to develop its wet weather green infrastructure for stormwater management, including an 8,322-square-foot (SF) green roof. Permeable pavement in a triangular courtyard between AWBERC's Annexes 1 and 2 also helps to manage stormwater runoff.
- Arlington, Virginia - EPA Headquarters Facility
A 1,711 SF green roof was installed on the area of roof that connects Potomac Yard One and Two in Arlington, Virginia.
- Denver, Colorado - Region 8 Office
A three-terrace, 19,200 SF extensive green roof at EPA's Region 8 Office in Denver, Colorado, reduces and delays peak stormwater flows in the flood-prone downtown Denver area. The roof also serves as a “living laboratory” for monitoring the viability of six species of sedum, as well as the roof’s utility in reducing peak flow runoff, treating pollutants, and mitigating the urban heat island effect.
- Gulf Breeze, Florida - Gulf Ecology Division Laboratory
A 1,600 gallon cistern collects rainwater at the Computational and Geospatial Sciences Building at EPA's laboratory in Gulf Breeze, Florida.
- Kansas City, Kansas - Science and Technology Center
A unique graywater collection and reuse system at EPA's Science and Technology Center in Kansas City, Kansas, collects rainwater from the roof along with air handler condensate discharge and water rejected from a reverse osmosis system used to generate pure water for laboratory experiments. The resulting graywater is first settled in a sediment tank, and then stored in a large underground tank before being reused in the building to flush toilets and as cooling tower makeup water. The graywater collection system reduces site runoff by 40 percent, and has the potential to generate more than 500,000 gallons of water annually to offset the demand on the city water supply.
- Washington, DC - EPA Headquarters
EPA, in collaboration with the U.S. General Services Administration, is demonstrating LID and sustainable stormwater management practices in a landscape renovation project at its Federal Triangle Headquarters complex in Washington, DC.
- Overview of the EPA Headquarters Low Impact Development Program
- The William Jefferson Clinton Building South Courtyard Project
LID practices used in the William Jefferson Clinton Building South Courtyard include bioretention cells, 564 square feet of permeable pavers, soil amendments, a cistern, and sustainable landscaping.
- Constitution Avenue Entrances Project
The project at the Constitution Avenue Entrances demonstrates how LID strategies can be used in urban areas and incorporates a combination of conservation practices, strategic site design, pollution prevention, and distributed small-scale source control management practices that reduce the stormwater that would otherwise have been discharged into the city’s combined sewer system.
- Garage Cisterns at the William Jefferson Clinton Building West Project
The William Jefferson Clinton Building West garage cisterns are designed to capture runoff from the approximately 10,000 square feet of roofing at the Federal Triangle Complex. Intercepted stormwater is stored in six 6-foot diameter cisterns that provide a reservoir of water for the William Jefferson Clinton Building West irrigation system.
- Learn more about some of the specific stormwater management techniques that are employed at EPA’s Headquarters in Washington, DC.
- Overview of the EPA Headquarters Low Impact Development Program
- Boston, Massachusetts – Region 1 Office
EPA’s Region 1 Office in Boston, Massachusetts, the John W. McCormack Post Office and Courthouse (POCH), underwent a historic renovation in FY 2009 and was occupied by EPA in December 2009. An 8,849 SF green roof that covers the 4th and 5th floor roofs helps insulate the building, cutting down on energy use and costs. Native and drought-resistant plants filter bacteria and other pollutants from stormwater runoff and provide a pleasant garden for building occupants. Vegetated roofs also minimize the urban heat island effect—urban and suburban temperatures that are 2° to 10°F warmer than nearby rural areas because of the heat retention properties of urban areas.
- Narragansett, Rhode Island - Atlantic Ecology Division (AED) Laboratory
AED completed construction on a 3,000 SF green roof in September 2009. By summer 2010, the laboratory plans to install cisterns to capture excess runoff from the green roof, allowing it to reuse this water for irrigation and other purposes.
- Athens, Georgia - National Exposure Research Laboratory
The Office of Research and Development National Exposure Research Laboratory in Athens, Georgia, used permeable paving for a row of 16 new parking spaces that were installed as part of a security gate improvement project. The gravel-filled porous paving system allows for stormwater filtration, infiltration, and eventual groundwater recharge. Native plants and grasses were planted to increase bio-filtration and soil stabilization. In addition, in FY 2008, Athens completed work on a retention pond. The retention pond and porous gravel parking spaces provide a combined storage volume of almost 75,000 cubic feet, enough to manage runoff from the 95th percentile storm event (rainfall accumulation over a 24-hour period that exceeds the accumulation of more than 95 percent of all the days over a given time period) on the 15-acre site.
In October 2009, three types of permeable pavement surfaces were installed in an experimental parking lot at the Edison laboratory, including 28 parking spaces made of interlocking concrete paver blocks, 41 porous concrete parking spaces, and 28 porous asphalt parking spaces. Thirteen conventional asphalt spaces serve as an experimental control for research into the performance and capabilities of the permeable pavement systems. In addition, a rain garden was installed to quantify the ability of rain gardens to accept, store, and infiltrate stormwater. The facility compiled extensive documentation during construction to support planned long-term research activity. Learn more about Edison's parking lot and rain garden. In November 2010, EPA completed construction of an additional 60 permeable concrete parking spaces at the Region 2 Laboratory, separate from the experimental parking lot.
- Fort Meade, Maryland - Environmental Science Center
EPA employees in the Fort Meade, Maryland, Environmental Science Center helped construct a rain garden with native grasses, goldenrod, coneflowers, and installed rain chains to help reduce splash erosion as stormwater falls from roof gutters to the garden. Rain gardens direct runoff into landscaped depressions where stormwater is filtered and detained as it soaks into the ground or is taken up by plants.
- Chapel Hill, North Carolina - Chapel Hill Laboratory
EPA's Chapel Hill Laboratory installed four pervious parking spaces.
EPA has developed a list of best practices to guide its stormwater management projects. EPA has also provided training on the use of LID and wet weather green infrastructure in stormwater management for facility managers and headquarters facilities staff.
In 2010, EPA adopted the Technical Guidance on Implementing the Stormwater Runoff Requirements for Federal Projects under Section 438 of the Energy Independence and Security Act (PDF) (63 pp, 2.5MB) for all its new construction and renovation projects and incorporated the requirements into its green building processes and documents, including the Architecture and Engineering (A/E) Guidelines, Best Practice (Environmental) Lease Provisions, and GreenCheck.
EPA has revised its Best Practice (Environmental) Lease Provisions to improve the section on stormwater management, including the EISA requirement to restore predevelopment hydrology for site disturbances over 5,000 square feet and reference the Technical Guidance.
EPA has also revised the A/E Guidelines within the Agency’s Facilities Manual to improve the section on stormwater management. This section guides facility engineers on topics such as street drainage, watershed development, erosion and sedimentation control, stormwater retention and detention, roof recovery and cisterns, distributed stormwater management techniques, minimization of impervious areas, and other LID implementation methods.
Because EPA strives to reduce stormwater impacts and install retrofits wherever opportunities exist, the Agency is currently compiling technical data on its inventory of stormwater management practices at its facilities. This inventory will help quantify the benefits of existing stormwater practices and identify cost-effective opportunities for future green intrastructure retrofits and contribute to EPA meeting the requirements of Executive Order (EO) 13514, which require 15 percent of the Agency's existing building inventory meet the Guiding Principles for Federal Leadership in High Performance and Sustainable Buildings by FY 2015.
EPA is developing long-term retrofit plans to address stormwater management at the following facilities:
- Cincinnati, Ohio - AWBERC
In December 2009, AWBERC completed a stormwater management retrofit master plan, which will guide a long-term effort to reduce stormwater leaving the site based on LID/wet weather green infrastructure principles.
- Corvallis, Oregon - Western Ecology Division Laboratory, ORD
EPA is currently developing a long-term stormwater management plan for its laboratory in Corvallis, Oregon.