New EPA Clean Water Resources Released

image:  The Partnership for Sustainable Communities
image: The Partnership for Sustainable Communities

The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Clean Water and Drinking Water Infrastructure Sustainability Policy was officially released on October 1, 2010 and was developed with input from a variety of federal, state, and local officials with the goal of promoting sustainable infrastructure within the water sector.  The policy focuses on promoting planning processes that support sustainability, promoting community sustainability, and promoting sustainable water and wastewater systems along with the targeting of Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Fund assistance.

Along with EPA’s Sustainability Policy, in 2009 the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), and the EPA formed the Interagency Partnership for Sustainable Communities (Partnership) to help improve access to affordable housing, expand transportation options, and lower transportation costs while protecting the environment in communities nationwide.  Through this partnership, the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) along with EPA’s Office of Sustainable Communities sponsored three pilot projects with New York, Maryland, and California to provide technical assistance and policy options to explore how their programs may be improved to encourage more sustainable development and communities.

Please see below for links and additional information.

Sustainability and the Clean Water State Revolving Fund: A Best Practices Guide: EPA’s Office of Wastewater Management has developed this Best Practices Guide to provide an overview of a variety of state policies and practices supporting the priorities outlined in the Sustainability Policy and pilot projects. Currently, many states have unique and effective policies that directly address these issues whether it be through program requirements and incentives, project priority system structure, innovative financial mechanisms, technical assistance, or outreach to communities and potential borrowers. As a significant source of funding for wastewater infrastructure, CWSRF programs can influence how some communities develop infrastructure projects. This guide is intended for state programs as they consider policies and initiatives to promote community and water infrastructure sustainability.

Maryland Clean Water State Revolving Fund Sustainable Communities Pilot Project Report: Decisions about where to provide public wastewater infrastructure affect development patterns and influence where and how a community will grow. This report describes how EPA worked with Maryland’s Clean Water State Revolving Fund program to consider ways to focus resources in existing communities and infrastructure systems.

The Partnership for Sustainable Communities is pleased to announce the launch of the Sustainable Community Case Study database.  This online resource provides access to research and reports on communities that are working with HUD, DOT, EPA, and other Federal agencies to invest in transportation, affordable housing, and environmental protection.

The database includes two new case studies on the economic benefits of the Partnership’s work. In Cleveland, public and private investments catalyzed a striking transformation along Euclid Avenue. Construction of a new bus rapid transit (BRT) system known as the HealthLine and clean-up and redevelopment of numerous vacant and abandoned properties and infrastructure have helped revitalize the area. As a result, Euclid Avenue has seen $4.3 billion in investment and redevelopment, the addition of 22,000 square feet of retail space, and the creation of 5,000 jobs since 2005.

Redevelopment in downtown Milwaukee highlights how resources from Federal agencies, combined with State and local resources, build on each other to provide economic, environmental, and social benefits. The city cleaned up downtown Milwaukee’s largest industrial brownfield, increased the number of downtown residents, and spurred additional private-sector development. The North End, an 83‐unit, mixed‐use apartment building with about 12,000 square feet of ground‐level retail space, is now located on the brownfield, which has increased property values and the city’s tax base.

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