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Green Infrastructure Policy: What is green and how do we implement it?

Protect, enhance, preserve, restore. These goals are at the heart of the Green Infrastructure Policy that guides the projects we pursue and helps quantify their benefits to our region.

“The policy demonstrates a commitment,” said Chief Executive Officer Kyle Dreyfuss-Wells. “It lays out a future where green infrastructure is integrated across our program areas to lead the most effective applications of this technology.”

What is green infrastructure?

We define Green Infrastructure as stormwater source control measures that store, filter, infiltrate, harvest, and reuse or evapotranspirate stormwater to increase resiliency of infrastructure by reducing stress on wet-weather drainage and collection systems, which increase co-benefits in support of healthy environments and strong communities.

Implementing Green

We are committed to actively pursuing opportunities across six program areas to advocate for strategic and cost-effective implementation and maintenance of green infrastructure technologies that protect, preserve, enhance and restore the natural hydrologic function of our region’s watersheds. Further, we seek to maximize the co-benefits provided by green infrastructure projects, including opportunities to expand urban natural areas, enhance air quality, and improve quality of life in Northeast Ohio. | NEW: See the latest GI Policy projects underway [PDF]

By understanding green infrastructure within these terms, these six program areas allow us to better evaluate and pursue specific opportunities:

1. Capital improvement and Operation & Maintenance

Implement combined sewer overflow-control Green Infrastructure projects and invest in projects that enhance sewer capacity.

2. Green infrastructure grants

Partner with communities to remove or detain stormwater from separate- or combined-sewer systems. Learn more.

3. Member Community Infrastructure Program

Assess and fund local sewer improvements that resolve water-quality and -quantity issues. Learn more.

4. Water Resource Restoration Sponsorship Program (WRRSP)

Work with partners to sponsor projects that protect and improve water quality through preservation and restoration of ecosystems.

5. Code of Regulations Titles III and IV Community Discharge Permits

Use Green Infrastructure to reduce stress on sewer infrastructure and support permit compliance, by reviewing development plans and encouraging runoff reduction or stormwater offloading. Learn more.

6. Code of Regulations Title V Regional Stormwater Management

Manage the regional stormwater system to implement and maintain Green Infrastructure and address flooding, erosion, and water quality concerns, including an incentive of stormwater fee credits. Learn more.