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Stormwater Management Goals and Strategies

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EPA’s goal is to transform its conventional building stormwater management approach by using low impact development (LID), wet weather green infrastructure, and best practices that will decrease the stormwater impact of its facilities on the environment. To accomplish this and meet federal stormwater management requirements, EPA has developed two broad strategies, one for new construction and major renovations, and the other for existing facilities.

Strategy for New Construction and Major Renovations

In new construction and major renovations, EPA will meet the requirements contained in the Technical Guidance on Implementing the Stormwater Runoff Requirements for Federal Projects under Section 438 of the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA). Section 438 of EISA requires federal agencies to maintain or restore a site’s predevelopment hydrology when projects impact more than 5,000 square feet of a site.

In 2010, EPA adopted this guidance for all its new construction and renovation projects and incorporated the requirements into its green building standards, including the Architecture and Engineering (A&E) Guidelines, Best Practice (Environmental) Lease Provisions, and GreenCheck. In new construction and major renovations, low impact development (LID)/wet weather green infrastructure can often be implemented at comparable or lower costs to conventional stormwater management (curb and gutter and pipe and pond systems). Learn more about the actions EPA is taking to address stormwater management in new construction and major renovations.

Strategy for Existing Facilities

EPA strives to reduce stormwater impacts and install retrofits that use LID/wet weather green infrastructure approaches wherever opportunities exist. The Agency gives the highest priority for retrofits to existing sites without stormwater management. Its next priority is to retrofit existing sites that use conventional or non-LID/wet weather green infrastructure stormwater management approaches.

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 infrastructure retrofits. Learn more about the actions EPA is taking to address stormwater management at its existing facilities.

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