EPA awards $65k to help Pima County green initiatives - Tucson News Now

EPA awards $65k to help Pima County green initiatives

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PIMA COUNTY, AZ ( Tucson News Now) -

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced Friday $65,000 in funds to help Pima County reduce water pollution and boost resilience to the impacts of climate change. The funding will help the county complete a green infrastructure guidance manual, according to a news release.

The southern Arizona project is one of six announced in support of President Obama's Climate Action Plan, which directs federal agencies to identify climate-resilient investments such as agency grants and technical assistance for communities across the country. Green infrastructure builds resilience to the impacts of climate change, particularly by reducing the burden on local water infrastructure.

"Investing in green infrastructure pays off for our environment and our economy," Jared Blumenfeld, EPA's RegionalAdministrator for the Pacific Southwest, said. "We support Pima County's effort to create a detailed guide for the construction of green infrastructure designed to fit its desert environment."

Green infrastructure decreases pollution to local waterways by treating rain where it falls and keeping polluted storm water from entering sewer systems. Green infrastructure tools and techniques include green roofs, permeable materials, alternative designs for streets and buildings,trees, rain gardens and rain harvesting systems. Communities are increasingly using innovative green infrastructure to supplement or substitute for "gray"infrastructure such as pipes, filters, and ponds.

In the last two years, EPA has provided $1.35million to more than 20 communities for green infrastructure.

This new funding continues the agency's support for communities using green infrastructure to reduce water pollution and protect human health while increasing economic activity and neighborhood revitalization, job creation, energy savings and open space.

More information on the green infrastructure assistance, progress reports and strategy can be found here.

Information on the economic benefits case studies can be found at this link.

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