The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently released a series of six fact sheets and four supplements on incorporating green infrastructure into control programs. The fact sheets are part of EPA’s permitting and enforcement series and cover general accountability considerations, combined and sanitary sewer overflows, stormwater, total maximum daily loads, and water quality standards.
In June, EPA also released a fact sheet on the economic benefits of healthy watersheds. Maintaining a healthy watershed enables ecosystem services, such as stormwater infiltration and natural disaster resiliency, to operate free of charge. For example, flooding in the U.S. causes an average of $8 billion in damage every year, some of which could be avoided by maintaining natural land cover, according to EPA. The fact sheet compares the cost of nature’s services with those of man-made treatment works. Healthy watersheds also increase property value and recreational activities.