EPA Science Inventory

Green Infrastructure

Citation:

Mayer, P. AND S. Schechter. Green Infrastructure. US EPA Office of Research and Development, Washington, DC, 2012.

Description:

Large paved surfaces keep rain from infiltrating the soil and recharging groundwater supplies. Alternatively, Green infrastructure uses natural processes to reduce and treat stormwater in place by soaking up and storing water. These systems provide many environmental, social, and economic benefits that promote urban livability and add to the bottom line. Green infrastructure refers to systems use vegetation, soils, and natural processes to manage stormwater and generate healthier urban environments. Run-off from impervious surfaces, leakage from sewage infrastructure, septic systems, agricultural ditches and tile drains creates excess nitrogen (N) in groundwater, rivers, lakes, and coastal areas. Many green infrastructure elements can be optimized for N removal by sustaining conditions necessary that promote biological N transformation (e.g. denitrification).

Purpose/Objective:

Green infrastructure (GI) describes an approach to ecosystem management that relies on constructing landscape features that function similarly to natural systems thereby increasing the functionality of built or urbanized ecosystems. GI systems use vegetation, soils, and natural processes to manage stormwater and maintain ecosystem functions. GI systems are intended to also provide social and economic benefits that enhance urban livability. Costs associated with GI are often significantly lower than gray infrastructure such as pavement, water conduits, CSO’s. This fact sheet made available on the WED public web site is meant to introduce the reader to the concept of GI, demonstrate the variety of GI techniques suitable for urbanized and degraded systems, and highlight the effectiveness of GI for managing excess nitrogen.

URLs/Downloads:

http://www.epa.gov/wed/pages/projects/reduced_green%20infra.pdf

MAYER - ABSTRACT.PDF   (PDF,NA pp, 26.652 KB,  about PDF)

Record Details:

Record Type: DOCUMENT (COMMUNICATION PRODUCT/EXTERNAL FACT SHEET)
Start Date: 05/08/2014
Completion Date: 05/08/2014
Record Last Revised: 04/06/2015
Record Created: 05/08/2014
Record Released: 05/08/2014
OMB Category: Other
Record ID: 275274

Organization:

U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

NATIONAL HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS RESEARCH LAB

WESTERN ECOLOGY DIVISION

FRESHWATER ECOLOGY BRANCH