October 22, 2013
The Environmental Protection Agency was out in force in Syracuse today with an update to its green infrastructure strategy. It chose to visit Onondaga County because of work there to conserve rain water.
Onondaga County has worked hard to improve runoff spilling into the heavily polluted Onondaga Lake through its Save The Rain program.
EPA officials highlighted that project and the county’s collaboration with the city of Syracuse in implementing a range of infrastructure upgrades. They include rain gardens, green roofs and permeable pavement.
EPA Deputy Administrator Bob Perciasepe says funding cutbacks provided the impetus for teaming up. "That is one of the solutions to constrained resources, is having states, local governments and the federal agencies working together so we’re not duplicating each other, we’re learning from each other and we’re building on each other’s expertise."
The EPA’s green infrastructure strategy outlines the agency’s support for local efforts to address water runoff and air quality.
Perciasepe says green infrastructure helps mitigate damage during big storms and improves water quality generally by replicating more natural systems.