ICPI Hails House Transportation Bill with Permeable Pavers Provisions

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The leading national organization representing the permeable pavement industry hails action by the U.S. House of Representatives that expands the use of permeable interlocking concrete pavements in the United States.

The House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure has passed The American Energy & Infrastructure Jobs Act, the House version of a massive multi-year transportation bill.

The Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute (ICPI) has been working closely with the Committee to include provisions in the bill that will take advantage of pavers’ unique drainage properties to benefit highway and mass transit construction.

Most Americans think of interlocking concrete pavers – ICP – for revitalization of downtown business district sidewalks and roads, as well as residential applications such as driveways, patios and walkways. A permeable version of this pavement incorporates pavers with spacers and drainage stones between the joints thereby rendering a permeable surface when placed over a crushed stone base designed to store runoff and allow infiltration into the underlying soils. This new version—called permeable interlocking concrete pavement or PICP—is a remarkably versatile system suited for municipal roads, parking lots and plazas. Transportation applications of PICP create environmentally friendly surfaces for elegant and functional green pavements that minimize environmental impacts, reduce stormwater runoff, and eliminate standing water/flooding problems.

The provisions will authorize the U.S. Secretary of Transportation to pursue broad research and technology transfer activities to promote the adoption of permeable pavements for transportation applications throughout the U.S.

The ICPI backed provisions are the first of their kind to include permeable pavements in federal transportation policy. They are drafted as legitimate “bill” language, which has force of law, rather than “report” language, which has no force of law. Several of the key terms in the permeable pavement provisions, such as “stormwater” and “permeable,” appear only in the ICPI backed provisions and would not be in the bill otherwise.

With growing recognition and support in federal policy, PICP is growing in importance as a key paving component in the plans of construction designers.

“Permeable interlocking concrete pavement systems (PICP) can help state and local governments, and state highway officials, meet their growing requirements to use pavements that minimize stormwater runoff pollution in the U.S. transportation system,” said Roberto Nicolia, ICPI Chairman of the Board. “Going forward, state and local transportation officials will need to design and build environmentally friendly components into their projects. Pavers will be an important means to achieve those ends.”

The ICPI action in federal transportation policy dovetails with similar cooperative work with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

“Concrete pavers are perfect for federal government policy. “Green” construction, greenscapes, reducing stormwater runoff and flooding, improving water quality and reducing water pollution – these are all top priorities for every builder in the country,” said Charles McGrath, ICPI’s Executive Director.

The Environmental Protection Agency has listed installation of PICP as a Best Management Practice for reducing stormwater runoff. EPA and ICPI are working cooperatively to provide municipalities with access to technical data that helps them adopt permeable interlocking concrete pavement systems more easily.

ICPI’s recent efforts on Capitol Hill have been designed to extend these benefits to U.S. DOT, using the only major non-appropriations bill likely to become law prior to the November elections.    

“We want Members of Congress to understand that the permeable pavements provisions in the House bill can provide ‘green’ road construction, mitigate storm water runoff, and jobs, in nearly every congressional district in the country,” said Randall Pence, ICPI’s lobbyist on Capitol Hill. “ICPI urges quick House passage of the American Energy & Infrastructure Jobs Act and continued support for the permeable pavements provisions in both the House and Senate.”

About ICPI
The Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute (ICPI) represents producers, suppliers, contractors, design professionals and consultants and supports its members in assuring segmental pavement systems are the preferred choice for sustainable and environmentally friendly pavements in North America. ICPI aims to increase the application of segmental concrete pavement systems in North American commercial, institutional, governmental, industrial and residential markets through the development of marketing and technical resources for design professionals, contractors and homeowners.

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