Getting to Green: Paying for Green Infrastructure Financing Options and Resources for Local Decision-Makers

 This EPA report provides local governments with information on available financing and funding sources for stormwater management projects and examples of those funding sources put to use. The appendix of the report includes a case study analyzing Providence, Rhode Island’s stormwater management capabilities and providing recommendations.

Eight types of funding sources are highlighted in the report:

  • Taxes and general funds -including property, income, and sales taxes
  • Fees - referring to any funds raised through charges for services such as inspections or permits
  • Stormwater utilities - referring to user fees and charges generated by a stormwater utility
  • Credits and incentive programs - referring to discounts given to customers for implementing practices that reduce the impacts of stormwater
  • Bonds - which are not true revenue sources, but provide a way for borrowing money. “Green” bonds may be particularly useful for stormwater management projects.
  • Grants - referring to state and federal grants for water quality improvements.
  • Loans - low-interest loans are most often used for planning and capital projects
  • Public-Private partnerships - referring to contractual agreements between a public agency and private sector to finance, plan, design, construct, and maintain a stormwater facility.

For each funding source, the report describes how the source can be accessed and used to fund stormwater projects, including the advantages and disadvantages of a particular source. It also provides  municipal examples showing how local governments have successfully used that source. For example, Spokane, Washington used a loan from a state revolving fund to construct street-side rain gardens and other green infrastructure to capture and treat runoff. The report also includes links to additional resources where the user can learn more about the funding source or the municipal example.

The case study on Providence, RI profiles a study led by the city to find stable and dedicated funding for stormwater management. The city determined that it should consider a regional solution, partnering with neighborhood communities in the same watershed to better promote low impact development site planning.


Publication Date: December 2014

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Resource Types:

  • Best practice
  • Case study
  • Funding program


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