Late last year, the EPA issued Washington DC a new MS4 stormwater permit. As described in the press, this is the model they hope to follow moving forward as it strongly encourages low-impact development stormwater management techniques. Recently, the city published proposed amendments to their Municipal Regulations to guide adoption of the new permit. These guidelines are even more progressive than the new permit, and it will be interesting to watch over the next few years to see how the market adapts to a credit/trading system for stormwater management. It's also interesting to see that the district proposes to ban all coal tar sealants. You can learn more about it all here, and read the text of the permit here or the short version here.
These are the highlights for me:
I like this part:
"Ensuring that local codes, ordinances and other policies are consistent with the requirements of the permit is critical element of success. A number local governments attempting to implement green infrastructure measures have found their own local policies to be one of the most significant barriers, e.g., parking codes that require over-sized parking lots, plumbing codes that don’t allow rainwater harvesting for indoor uses, or street design standards that prohibit the use of porous/pervious surfaces. EPA has published a document, the Water Quality Scorecard ( http://www.epa.gov/smartgrowth/pdf/2009_1208_wq_scorecard.pdf ), to assist local governments in understanding and identifying these local policy barriers and also provides options for eliminating them. EPA is not requiring the District to use the Scorecard or any other specific method, but recommends a systematic assessment of local policies in the context of the requirements of the Final Permit in order to comply with the provisions of this Section."
...and this part:
"One of the fundamental differences between today’s Final Permit and earlier permits is the inclusion of measurable requirements for green technology practices, sometimes referred to as “low-impact development” or “green infrastructure.” These requirements, which include green roofs, enhanced tree plantings, permeable pavements..."