PWD and PADEP Sign Historic Agreement to Officially Launch Green City, Clean Waters

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PWD to spend approximately $2 billion over the next 25 years on primarily green infrastructure

PHILADELPHIA – The City of Philadelphia and Philadelphia Water Department (PWD) are ready to begin an exciting chapter of its Green City, Clean Waters Plan. On June 1, the PA Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) and PWD will sign a groundbreaking agreement that will allow the PWD to officially embark on the implementation of its innovative strategy that uses green stormwater infrastructure to substantially reduce Combined Sewer Overflows (CSOs) to its waterways.

PWD submitted the plan to the US EPA and PADEP in September, 2009, after vetting the plan with an enthusiastic public. Green City, Clean Waters lays the groundwork for the PWD to spend approximately $2 billion over the next 25 years to use primarily green infrastructure, such as - stormwater tree trenches, vegetated bumpouts, porous asphalt, rain gardens, sidewalk planters – as a means to transform manmade surfaces that repel the rain to Greened Acres which capture rainwater runoff, which then infiltrates, stores and manage the rain as a precious resource - just like Mother Nature. The plan also includes wastewater treatment facility enhancements and pipe renewal and replacement. Green City, Clean Waters works in tandem with the Mayor’s Greenworks Philadelphia vision in order to reinvent Philadelphia as a green, sustainable city of the future.

“We are thrilled and grateful that the DEP has recognized the incredible environmental and public value of this plan and has worked with the City to embrace its vision,” said Mayor Michael Nutter.

“As a sustainable approach to stormwater issues, Green City, Clean Waters upholds the tenets of GreenWorks Philadelphia and makes significant progress towards Philadelphia becoming the greenest city in the country.” “Through the Green City, Clean Waters plan, we seek to achieve a host of tangible environmental, social and economic benefits for Philadelphians while improving the health of the City’s creeks, rivers and urban landscape,” added Water Commissioner Howard Neukrug. “That means not only cleaner water for our citizens, but cleaner air, a higher quality of life and meaningful jobs for future generations.”

PWD has softly launched the plan over the last few years to develop green infrastructure designs that work best in the Philadelphia landscape. These early projects serve as public demonstrations for citizens and provide the PWD and its many partners with early opportunities to monitor and improve the efficiencies of these practices.

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