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EPA Testing Environmentally Friendly Parking Lot Concepts

parking logIn 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.

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2 thoughts on “EPA Testing Environmentally Friendly Parking Lot Concepts

  1. How about eliminating parking requirements and providing better public transit and bicycling facilities? How about actually REDUCING the number of parking spaces in our communities and reducing our dependence on automobiles?

  2. This is a good option for businesses, because their parking lots are their problem. It’s different for roads that will be accepted by a town. We’ve looked into this, but towns are reluctant to accept roads with permeable pavements without knowing the long term maint. costs.

    IMO the most impressive Stormwater BMP now is the SBZ, (Google Stormwater Buffer Zone) which are catch basins and catch basin retrofits which can trap and filter sediment much more effectively and far less expensively than anything we’ve used.

    This study will take 10 years to complete, but BMPs in existing catch basins con be installed right now with observable results.

    Money is better spent on optimizing existing catch basin infrastructure than make pavement a silt trap, though permeable pavements have some other great features.

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