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Floods in Boulder: A Study of Resilience

April 2014

This research examines a potentially catastrophic flooding event in Boulder, Colorado in September 2013. Though the scale of flooding was unprecedented, “only” 10 lives were lost, most infrastructure was maintained, and the recovery has been considered successful. In this study, the Institute for Social and Environmental Transition (ISET) examines Boulder’s demonstrated flood resilience, and how the physical and human systems, as well as legal and cultural norms played into Boulder's flood response.

Related Organizations: Institute for Social and Environmental Transition (ISET) - International

Authors or Affiliated Users: Karen MacClune, Chris Allan, Kanmani Venkateswaran, Lea Sabbag

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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City of Chicago Green Stormwater Infrastructure Strategy

April 2014

In 2014, Chicago, Illinois released its green stormwater infrastructure plan to improve the city’s water quality, reduce flood risks, and build climate resilience. With 26-miles of lakefront and 28-miles of riverfront, Chicago understands that water is both one of its greatest assets and largest sources of risk. This plan describes ways to integrate green techniques into Chicago’s well established, but already overtaxed stormwater system that will only become more burdened as climate change causes increased precipitation.

Related Organizations: City of Chicago, Illinois

Resource Category: Planning

 

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The Economic Benefits of Green Infrastructure: A Case Study of Lancaster, PA

February 2014

This case study analyzes the Green Infrastructure Plan released by Lancaster, Pennsylvania in 2011 and estimates quantified benefits for the Plan over a 25-year scenario.The study finds that green infrastructure provides $2.8 million in energy, air quality, and climate related benefits annually, reduced gray infrastructure capital costs by $120 million, and reduced wastewater pumping and treatment costs by $661,000 a year, easily exceeding the costs of implementing green infrastructure.

Related Organizations: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Massachusetts Green Bonds

2014

In 2014, the state of Massachusetts issued $350 million in “green bonds” to fund water infrastructure projects, including stream bed restoration, open-space protection, and stormwater management. The difference between green and traditional bonds, is that the the proceeds form the sale of green bonds are used for projects that are beneficial to the environment. Investors who buy green bonds are paid interest and principal from the same revenues as other municipal bonds.

Related Organizations: State of Massachusetts

Resource Category: Funding

 

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Local Government Stormwater Financing Manual: A process for program reform

January 2014

The University of Maryland Environmental Finance Center (EFC) developed this manual to provide information to local governments about progressive stormwater management practices, including green infrastructure, and to provide a model for creating policies and programs to finance these practices. The report’s introduction asserts that a paradigm shift is underway in stormwater finance, and local government staff have a critical role to play in leading that shift.  

Resource Category: Planning

 

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Navigating Litigation Floodwaters: Legal Considerations for Funding Municipal Stormwater Programs

2014

Published by the National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA), Navigating Litigation Floodwaters provides an overview of legal issues associated with user-fee funded municipal separate storm sewer systems (MS4s) stormwater programs, as well as a summary of selected legal decisions and pending cases. The report represents how different courts across the nation have addressed  the issue of stormwater management, the types of legal analyses that have been used when evaluating MS4 fee programs and the kinds of factors that have been relevant in the courts’ deliberations.

Related Organizations: National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA)

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF)

The Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) is a federal-state partnership program that provides low-interest loans and other low-cost financing for water infrastructure projects for eleven project types, including: constructing municipal wastewater facilities; controlling nonpoint sources of pollution; building decentralized wastewater treatment systems; creating green infrastructure projects; and protecting estuaries.  Through the program, the EPA provides grants to all 50 states and Puerto Rico, with states matching 20 percent of the grants.

Related Organizations: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

Resource Category: Funding

 

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Hoboken, New Jersey Green Infrastructure Strategic Plan

October 2013

The City of Hoboken, New Jersey published its Green Infrastructure Strategic Plan in October 2013 to create a framework for city-wide green infrastructure investments as a mechanism for improving storm water management, controlling flooding, and preparing for future climate change. It also encourages policy changes, such as zoning requirements and incentives, pilot projects, and plans for public lands and rights-of-way.

Related Organizations: Together North Jersey - North Jersey Sustainable Communities Consortium

Resource Category: Planning

 

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New Jersey S2815: Drinking water, wastewater infrastructure resiliency program; NJ Environmental Infrastructure Trust (NJEIT)

August 8, 2013

In August 2013, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie authorized $1. 28 billion in state financing for critical improvements to drinking water and wastewater infrastructure projects across the state under S2815. The funding includes $355 million that will protect and provide resiliency to infrastructure directly impacted by Superstorm Sandy. The bipartisan supported legislation establishes a three year program that could allocate up to $5 billion, not only to repair the plants, but also to harden them against future extreme weather events.

Related Organizations: State of New Jersey, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection

Resource Category: Law and Governance

 

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Managing Coastal Watersheds to Address Climate Change: Vulnerability Assessment and Adaptation Options for the Middle Patuxent Subwatershed of the Chesapeake Bay

August 2013

The purpose of this project and report is to help the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and its partners to address climate change impacts in the Chesapeake Bay, focusing on how to integrate climate change into coastal restoration and conservation activities. To do this, the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) worked with NOAA, a panel, and technical experts to identify climate change impacts for the Middle Patuxent sub-watershed and developed options for adapting restoration and conservation practices to address those impacts.

Related Organizations: National Wildlife Federation, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

Resource Category: Assessments

 

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