Funding Green Infrastructure in Pennsylvania: Funding the Future of Stormwater Management

American Rivers produced this report describing strategies for funding and financing green infrastructure investments in Pennsylvania. The report starts by describing how stormwater and impervious areas (like rooftops, pavements, and sidewalks) contribute to degraded water quality and how green infrastructure can be used to reduce stormwater overflow flooding by restoring, reintegrating, and replicating natural landscapes.

The report describes a variety of funding sources:

  • The Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Funds (SRFs) allocate funds to states to provide low-interest loans for water infrastructure projects, including green infrastructure.  Pennsylvania allocates its SRF funding through PENNVEST.  PENNVEST funds all stages of a project: development, construction, and rehabilitation. In 2009, PENNVEST awarded the city of Philadelphia a low-interest loan of $30 million for green infrastructure projects, including street tree planting and permeable pavement installation. 
  • Coastal Zone Management (CZM) funds from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) administered by the state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). CZM funds can be used for coastal resource management projects including watershed management and ecosystem protection, cataloguing wetlands and monitoring degradation, and managing stormwater in the Delaware River estuary. CZM funds have been used to fund green infrastructure including stormwater wetlands monitoring, retrofits to stormwater retention basins, and construction of stormwater management park.
  • DEP Bureau of Watershed Management grants and technical assistance to help municipalities and counties with stormwater management planning.
  • Department of Community and Economic Development funding (Community Development Block Grants and other infrastructure programs), although not specifically designed to fund water infrastructure or stormwater management, has been used by Pennsylvania cities to fund floodplain management, drainage systems, and green stormwater management projects. 
  • Rural Utility Services funds allocated by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) can be used to repair water, sewer, and storm drain systems.

The report also includes recommendations for how state agencies and legislature could improve the administration of these programs to better promote green infrastructure.

Publication Date: undated

Author or Affiliated User:

  • Liz Garland

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  • Funding program

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