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Water: Polluted Runoff

Stormwater Management for Federal Facilities under Section 438 of the Energy Independence and Security Act


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Stormwater runoff in urban areas is one of the leading sources of water pollution in the United States. Traditional urban areas typically include large areas of impervious surfaces such as roads, sidewalks and buildings. These impervious surfaces prevent rainwater from infiltrating into the ground, and as a result, stormwater runs off these urban areas at higher rates and volumes.  These higher stormwater rates and volumes can cause increased flooding and erosion, and more pollution to surface waters, among other impacts.

Under Section 438 of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA), federal agencies are required to reduce stormwater runoff from federal development and redevelopment projects to protect water resources.  Federal agencies can comply using a variety of stormwater management practices often referred to as "green infrastructure" or "low impact development" practices, including reducing impervious surfaces and using vegetative practices, porous pavements, cisterns and green roofs.

Technical Guidance

EPA worked closely with other federal agencies to develop technical guidance which provides background information, key definitions, case studies, and guidance on meeting the requirements.

Additional Resources

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