Policy Case Studies

Case Study Resources and Other Resources:

The American Institute of Landscape Architects highlighted more than 475 stormwater case studies from across the United States and Canada HERE.

The US EPA  identified common drivers and regulatory framework of green infrastructure and highlight a number of case studies HERE.

The Landscape Architecture Foundation reviewed green infrastructure projects from across the United States HERE.

The University of Connecticut identified low impact development projects from across the United States and profiled them HERE.

The Southeast Michigan Council of Governments developed a Low Impact Development Manual with a database of LID case studies in Michigan HERE.

The National League of Cities’ Sustainable Cities Institute collects sustainability case studies in addition to green infrastructure case studies HERE

The National Association of Counties highlights green infrastructure practice HERE.

The American Public Works Association’s website has a number of articles about green infrastructure

The Watershed Management Group also hosts webinars about green infrastructure HERE.

Cambridgeshire Horizons highlights green infrastructure case studies in the United Kingdom HERE.



POLICY APPROACH: Stormwater Management Regulations
SCALE:  City
WHO: City of Portland
WHERE: Portland, OR
WHEN: Most recent SWM Manual 2008
LINK: http://www.portlandoregon.gov/bes/47952
WHAT: Portland utilizes a myriad of stormwater management and green infrastructure policies. Their Stormwater Management Manual applies to all development and redevelopment projects on both public and private property. This manual also complements Portland’s stormwater management policies and programs such as the Portland Watershed Management Plan, System Plan, Revegetation Program, Greenstreets Program and other standards and policies.


POLICY APPROACH: Review and Revise Local Codes
SCALE:  City
WHO:  City of Seattle; Seattle Public Utilities (SPU)
WHERE:  Seattle, WA
WHEN: First Stormwater Treatment Technical Requirements Manual effective 2001
LINK: http://www.seattle.gov/util/MyServices/DrainageSewer/Projects/GreenStormwaterInfrastructure/StormwaterCode/index.htm
WHAT: SPU created a stormwater code that requires implementation of green infrastructure strategies. Green Stormwater Infrastructure (GSI) includes stormwater best management practices designed to reduce runoff from development using infiltration, evapotranspiration, and/or stormwater reuse. To be considered Green Stormwater Infrastructure, it must provide a function as well as stormwater management such as water reuse, providing greenspace and/or habitat in the City. Examples of green stormwater infrastructure include trees, bioretention facilities, permeable pavement, green roofs, rainwater harvesting and bioretention planters with underdrains. Green Stormwater Infrastructure can be used to comply with the Minimum Requirements for Flow Control, Minimum Requirements for Treatment, or both, depending on how they are designed and constructed.

All projects are required to implement Green Stormwater Infrastructure to the maximum extent feasible for flow control. This means that Green Stormwater Infrastructure must be incorporated throughout the project site wherever feasible, constrained only by the physical limitations of the site, practical considerations of engineering design and necessary business practices, and reasonable financial considerations of costs and benefits.


POLICY APPROACH: Demonstration Project
SCALE:  Site
WHO:  Village of Niles, IL & Coca-Cola
WHERE: 7114 W. Touhy Avenue, Niles, IL
WHEN: 2009
LINK: http://www.vniles.com/Content/templates/?a=2471
WHAT: The Coca-Cola Bottling Company partnered with the Village of Niles, IL, to carry out a sustainability project. In this public-private partnership, community volunteers and landscape architects constructed a 2,754 square foot rain garden and 1,866 square feet of prairie grasses . The success of the project has spawned the Village of Niles to consider other locations for future rain gardens with the goal of targeting problem stormwater drainage areas.


POLICY APPROACH: Capital and Transportation Projects
SCALE:  Corridor
WHO: Capitol Region Watershed District (CRWD), Met Council, City of Saint Paul, Ramsey County, MN
WHERE: St. Paul, MN, region
WHEN: 2011
LINK: http://www.capitolregionwd.org/our-work/watershed-planning/cclrt_wq/
WHAT: A collaboration of CRWD, City of Saint Paul, Met Council and Ramsey County worked together to integrate green infrastructure practices into The Central Corridor Light Rail Transit (CCLRT) project. The transportation project integrated a tree trench system, stormwater planters, rain gardens and infiltration trenches to maximize reduction of stormwater runoff, minimize polluted stormwater runoff, mitigate urban heat island effect and create a more pleasant community for people.


POLICY APPROACH: Education and Outreach
SCALE:  County
WHO: Onondaga County
WHERE: Onondaga County, NY
WHEN: 2008
LINK: http://savetherain.us/
WHAT:  Onondaga County developed the Save the Rain Program to implement green infrastructure. The program includes public education and outreach campaign, urban forestry grant in the Clinton sewershed, demonstration projects moving including green roofs, porous pavement, rain gardens, plantar boxes, tree trenches and rain barrels, development of matching grant program for “green” projects on private properties.


POLICY APPROACH:  Stormwater Management Fees
SCALE:  City
WHO:  City of Rockville
WHERE: Rockville, MD
LINK: http://www.rockvillemd.gov/residents/swm/
WHAT: The Stormwater Utility Fee is assessed for homeowners, businesses, houses of worship, governments and schools.  The fee is calculated based on the amount of impervious surface area for public and private properties. It is used to fund efforts to comply with state and federal regulations.


POLICY APPROACH:  Stormwater Fee Discounts
SCALE:  City
WHO:  City of Washington, DC, Department of Environment
WHERE: Washington, DC
WHEN: 2011
LINK: http://green.dc.gov/service/riversmart-rewards-program-overview
WHAT: Washington, DC, Department of Environment created the RiverSmart Rewards program to offer DC Water customers a discount of up to 55% on their stormwater fee by retaining stormwater on their property. Discounts are calculated based on retention volume of stormwater best management practices recommended by DC Department of the Environment.


POLICY APPROACH:  Other Incentives
SCALE:  County/District
WHO:  Metropolitan Sewer District (MSD) in Louisville & Jefferson County, Kentucky
WHERE: Louisville & Jefferson County, Kentucky
WHEN: 2009
LINK: http://www.msdlouky.org/pdfs/Green_Infrastructure_Incentives_Savings_Weba.pdf
The Green Management Practices Manual can be found here: http://www.msdlouky.org/insidemsd/pdfs/2009_DM_SD_SPECS/GreenInfrastructureManualChapter18_2011-09-14.pdf
WHAT: MSD assists commercial, industrial and institutional property owners to reduce stormwater runoff with green infrastructure practices. Property owners will receive a reduction on monthly stormwater user charges. Stormwater drainage credits last for ten years and can be renewed. Also, stormwater runoff projects must comply with the MSD Green Management Practices (GMP) Manual. The GMP Manual contains green management best practices including pervious pavement, rain gardens and bioswales. This manual serves as a list of additional tools for stormwater management needs to comply with the Clean Water Act, post-construction stormwater water quality and quantity requirements.

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