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EPA in Virginia

Richmond Benefits from EPA ‘Greening America’s Capitals’

Stories of Progress in Achieving Healthy Waters

U.S. EPA Region 3 Water Protection Division

Richmond, VA • March 26, 2015

EPA’s Greening America’s Capitals Program is helping to restore a key Richmond corridor and reduce pollution to the James River.

In Richmond neighborhoods steeped in history, some of the newest strategies for controlling stormwater pollution are on display.

Green infrastructure has taken hold on streets and alleys in Virginia’s state capital. And there’s more on the way as part of an EPA-financed plan to revive a corridor that includes St. John’s Church, the site of Patrick Henry’s famous outcry in 1775, “Give me liberty or give me death.”

The Greening America’s Capitals plan will help free two neighborhoods from the grip of dangerous traffic, lack of green space, and economic concerns, as well as stormwater runoff impacting the James River and the Chesapeake Bay.

Greening America’s Capitals is an EPA program conducted in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Department of Transportation through the Partnership for Sustainable Communities.  EPA is funding a design team to develop options for improving an area of Jefferson Avenue that links the historic neighborhoods of Church Hill and Union Hill. Meetings in the spring of 2015 will support planning of the implementation phase

The team will build on a community vision and ongoing work to increase pedestrian and cyclist safety, develop pocket parks and continue the area’s economic comeback. The plans are expected to include rain gardens and urban food gardens, expanding the city’s efforts to use green infrastructure to reduce stormwater pollution.

EPA’s Mid-Atlantic Water Protection Division has supported projects in Richmond to capture stormwater where it falls, reducing flooding and curtailing sewer overflows impacting local waters. Financing from the Clean Water State Revolving Fund and the Green Streets, Green Jobs, Green Towns (G3) program has been used to construct green alleys and streets in the Capitol Square area and other locations.

A map of Virginia highlighting the location of Richmond

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