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Stormwater Runoff 

​Controlling stormwater runoff and preventing erosion from residential properties, agricultural areas and construction sites keeps pollutants out of rivers, streams and bays and protects wildlife habitat and drinking water supplies.

"Green Infrastructure" refers to newly-developed or recently-improved methods of managing stormwater runoff that are cost-effective, sustainable and environmentally beneficial. These include large-scale projects such as restoring, maintaining and protecting natural landscapes. Smaller projects include green roofs, rain gardens, swales, permeable paving and rainwater harvesting for non-potable purposes.

Stormwater Runoff - Washington DC

Capturing runoff in Washington, DC. 


Portland, OR's Environmental Services has created a helpful brochure and video about the construction of rain gardens.

The EPA's National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System is a comprehensive web site offering detailed information and data on hundreds of subjects regarding wastewater, stormwater and erosion.

How about zero runoff?  The parking lot of the EPA's Edison Environmental Center in New Jersey is made of permeable paving. Here's their report. 

Ashland, VA's Town Hall municipal parking lot serves as a multifunctional space for residents and visitors. It's paved with permeable pavers. Here's the story

A detailed report from the New York Department of Environmental Conservation on stormwater management can be found on their web site. Buried deep inside their Design Manual, Chapter Nine (pages 9-37) is an excellent report on permeable paving with guidance for siting, installation and cost.


[1] Mallin, M. A., et al. (2008). Comparative impacts of stormwater runoff on water quality of an urban, a suburban, and a rural stream. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, 159(1-4), 475-491. 

[2] United States Environmental Protection Agency. (2018) Stormwater Management and Green Infrastructure Research.

[3] United States Environmental Protection Agency. (2008) Chapter 10: Stormwater Management for People and Wildlife. In Conserving Natural Areas and Wildlife in Your Community.

[4] Pennino, M. J., et al. (2016). Watershed-scale impacts of stormwater green infrastructure on hydrology, nutrient fluxes, and combined sewer overflows in the mid-Atlantic region. Science of The Total Environment, 565, 1044-1053.

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