PWD and PIDC Award $3.5 Million in Grants to Promote Green Stormwater Management Practices on Private Properties, Resulting in the Planned Development of 58 Green Acres

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The Philadelphia Water Department (PWD) and the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation (PIDC) have awarded $3.5 million in grants to promote green stormwater management practices in a highly competitive selection process. These practices include rain gardens, vegetated infiltration basins, porous asphalt, and green roofs.

The Philadelphia Water Department (PWD) and the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation (PIDC) have awarded $3.5 million in grants to promote green stormwater management practices in a highly competitive selection process. Launched in January 2012, the Stormwater Management Incentives Program (SMIP) is a grant program designed to be a catalyst for transforming large, commercial impervious properties that generate high volumes of stormwater runoff and burden the City’s sewer system and waterways into properties that build and maintain green stormwater management practices. These practices include rain gardens, vegetated infiltration basins, porous asphalt, and green roofs.

The SMIP grant is an important component of PWD’s Green City Clean Waters Plan that includes an ambitious goal to covert 9,500 impervious acres to “green acres” that capture and manage the first one inch of stormwater runoff to achieve beautiful, fishable, clean and healthy rivers and streams. The grant will also allow businesses, institutions and other non-residential customers to reduce their stormwater rates by providing funding for the design and implementation of these green infrastructure projects and to join the City of Philadelphia in its quest to be the greenest city in the nation.

“This grant program is a win-win for the Water Department and for our business customers who have been impacted by an increase in stormwater fees resulting from our parcel based fee for stormwater,” stated Water Commissioner Howard Neukrug. “By working with customers who can manage stormwater from many acres of hard surfaces – and ideally public runoff from streets – we can transform pockets of our combined sewer areas into green acres in a cost effective way. This is the best example of a public/private partnership.”

Projects were evaluated based on a variety of criteria with cost effective green acres bearing the highest percentage of points. From the 41 applications received by the January 31st submission date, 13 applications met the primary criteria in addition to offering innovative and inspiring green stormwater management solutions that can demonstrate similar opportunities on other public and private sites.

"PIDC supports PWD's progressive stormwater management initiatives which use green strategies to reduce stormwater runoff," stated John Grady, President of PIDC. "Through the SMIP grant program, PIDC is excited to partner with PWD to help local business owners mitigate the economic impact of PWD's stormwater initiatives while also increasing the City's green space.”

The 13 projects result in the creation of 58 green acres. One green acre will manage at least the first inch of rainfall over an acre that drains to a common stormwater management practice.

The winning projects include LaSalle University, Dependable Distribution Services, Revolutionary Recovery, Case Paper, Newman Paper Company, Jomar Textiles, Morton McMichael School, Aspira-Antonia Pantoja Charter School, Yards Brewing, The Enterprise Center, Grace Epiphany Church, Litworx and Prodigy Day Care, and Roxborough Baptist Church.

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Laura Copeland
Philadelphia Water Department
215.685.4902
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