EPA Green Infrastructure Case Studies: Municipal Policies for Managing Stormwater with Green Infrastructure

This report by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) describes the benefits of green infrastructure, and the most common and influential green infrastructure policies. A brief background on how each approach works, and examples from relevant case studies including results, barriers and processes for implementation are provided.  This report is meant to serve as a policy guide for municipalities that wish to create local policies and programs to allow, require and encourage green infrastructure.

The case studies in this report profile 12 local governments who developed and implemented stormwater policies to support green infrastructure. The local policies described include interagency cooperation, enforcement and management issues, and integration with state and federal regulations. These case studies offer success stories for building a comprehensive green infrastructure program, along with insight into the obstacles and failures these communities experienced while trying to create a stormwater management system that includes more green infrastructure approaches. The case studies provided are for Alachua County, Florida; Chicago, Illinois; Lenexa, Kansas; Olympia and Seattle, Washington; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Portland and Wilsonville, Oregon; Emeryville, San Jose, and Santa Monica, California; and Stafford County, Virginia.

The lessons learned from the 12 case studies about how to implement a local green infrastructure program are described in three chapters. The first chapter, 'Common Drivers and Regulatory Framework,' explains what motivates the case study communities to set up local green infrastructure policies and programs. The second chapter presents a 'Menu of Local Green Infrastructure Policies.' This menu describes the nine policy types common to most or all of the municipalities in the case study, including examples about how the policies have been implemented. 'Policy Implementation,' provides guidance on how the policies can complement one another, how to overcome barriers and how to adapt different policies to local needs and priorities.

Publication Date: August 2010

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