The term low impact development (LID) refers to systems and practices that use or mimic natural processes that result in the infiltration, evapotranspiration or use of stormwater in order to protect water quality and associated aquatic habitat. EPA currently uses the term green infrastructure to refer to the management of wet weather flows using these processes, and to refer to the patchwork of natural areas that provide habitat, flood protection, cleaner air and cleaner water. At both the site and regional scale, LID/GI practices aim to preserve, restore and create green space using soils, vegetation, and rainwater harvest techniques. LID is an approach to land development (or re-development) that works with nature to manage stormwater as close to its source as possible. LID employs principles such as preserving and recreating natural landscape features, minimizing effective imperviousness to create functional and appealing site drainage that treat stormwater as a resource rather than a waste product. There are many practices that have been used to adhere to these principles such as bioretention facilities, rain gardens, vegetated rooftops, rain barrels and permeable pavements. By implementing LID principles and practices, water can be managed in a way that reduces the impact of built areas and promotes the natural movement of water within an ecosystem or watershed. Applied on a broad scale, LID can maintain or restore a watershed's hydrologic and ecological functions.
You will find fact sheets and technical reports both here and Green Infrastructure pages.You will need Adobe Reader to view some of the files on this page. See EPA’s About PDF page to learn more.
- Barrier Buster Factsheet #1: How LID Can Protect Your Community’s Resources (PDF)(2 pp, 1 MB, March 2012, EPA 841-N-12-003A)
Barrier Buster Fact Sheet #2: Terminology of Low Impact Development Distinguishing LID from other Techniques that Address Community Growth Issues (PDF)(2 pp, 601 K,
Addresses LID’s place in the jumble of terms for managing the environmental impacts of growth that coexist today and describes and distinguishes these terms.
Barrier Buster #3: Costs of Low Impact Development: LID Saves Money and Protects Your Community’s Resources (PDF)(2 pp, 2 MB,
Challenges the perception that LID is too expensive.
Barrier Buster #4: Aesthetics of Low Impact Development LID Technologies Can Benefit Your Community’s Visual Environment (PDF)(2 pp, 2 MB,
Challenges the perception that LID is unattractive.
Effectiveness of Low Impact Barrier Buster # 5: Development Proven LID Technologies Can Work for Your Community (PDF)(2 pp, 2 MB,
Challenges the perception that LID doesn't work.
Barrier Buster #6: Maintenance of Low Impact Development Communities Are Easily Managing LID Practices (PDF)(2 pp, 2 MB,
Challenges the perception that LID is too hard or costly to maintain.
Barrier Buster #7: Encouraging Low Impact Development Incentives Can Encourage Adoption of LID Practices in Your Community (PDF)(2 pp, 504 K,
Highlights incentive strategies to catalyze LID.
Barrier Buster #8: Soil Constraints and Low Impact Development Careful Planning Helps LID Work in Clay Soils (PDF)(2 pp, 2 MB,
Challenges the perception that LID can’t work in clay soils.
Barrier Buster #9: Slopes and Low Impact Development Designing and Siting LID Practices on Slopes (PDF)(2 pp, 638 K,
Challenges the perception that LID doesn’t work in areas with significant slopes.