In an effort to help reduce pollution runoff from paved parking lots, the Environmental Protection Agency is testing a variety of permeable paving materials at its Edison, N.J., facility.
If successful, EPA hopes to show businesses how they can install parking lots that not only reduce runoff, but actually help contribute to healthy water filtering processes, according to a press release.
The EPA notes that runoff from paved surfaces remains one of the most vexing sources of pollution into the nation’s waterways.
“By evaluating different designs and materials, this study will help us develop strategies to lessen the environmental impacts of parking lots across the country and make our communities more sustainable,” said EPA Acting Regional Administrator George Pavlou.
A 43,000 square foot area of the Edison parking lot features three different kinds of permeable pavement, with several kinds of rain gardens planted adjacently. EPA hopes to determine which combination of permeable pavement and rain garden vegetation is most successful at removing pollutants from stormwater runoff as it filters back into the ground.
Stormwater runoff that flows across parking lots tends to pick up debris, chemicals, sediment and pollutants. Learn more about stormwater management here.