To establish centers of excellence for green infrastructure,
and for other purposes.
IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
May 26, 2011
Mr. UDALL of New Mexico (for himself, Mr. WHITEHOUSE, and Mr. CARDIN)
introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to
the Committee on Environment and Public Works
To establish centers of excellence for green infrastructure,
and for other purposes.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the
United States of America in Congress assembled,
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
This Act may be cited as the `Green Infrastructure for Clean Water Act
SEC. 2. FINDINGS.
(1) many water resources in the United States are declining, particularly
in urban areas;
(2) the decline of water resources is the result of--
(A) an increase in population, water consumption, and impermeable
(B) the negative effects of urbanization, commercial and industrial
activities, and climate change; and
(3) an October 2008 study by the National Research Council found that
some of the benefits of green infrastructure include--
(A) increased water supplies;
(B) the creation of jobs;
(D) a reduction of stormwater runoff, surface water discharge, stormwater
pollution, and stormwater flows.
SEC. 3. DEFINITIONS.
(1) ADMINISTRATOR- The term `Administrator' means the Administrator
of the Environmental Protection Agency.
(2) CENTER- The term `center' means a center of excellence for green
infrastructure established under section 4(a).
(3) ELIGIBLE ENTITY- The term `eligible entity' means--
(A) a State, tribal, or local government; or
(B) a local, regional, or other entity that manages stormwater,
drinking water resources, or waste water resources.
(4) ELIGIBLE INSTITUTION-
(A) IN GENERAL- The term `eligible institution' means an institution
of higher education (as defined in section 101 of the Higher Education
Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1001)), or a research institution, that has
demonstrated excellence in green infrastructure by--
(i) conducting research on green infrastructure to determine the
means by which green infrastructure reduces stormwater runoff,
enhances and protects drinking water sources, and improves water
(ii) developing and disseminating information regarding the means
by which an organization can use green infrastructure;
(iii) providing technical assistance to an organization for a
green infrastructure project;
(iv) developing best practices standards for green infrastructure;
(v) providing job training relating to green infrastructure;
(vi) developing course curricula for--
(I) elementary schools (as defined in section 9101 of the Elementary
and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 7801));
(II) secondary schools (as defined in that section);
(III) institutions of higher education (as defined in section
101 of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1001)); or
(vii) training students regarding green infrastructure; or
(viii) providing information to the Federal Government or State,
tribal, and local governments regarding the implementation of
(B) ASSOCIATED DEFINITION- For purposes of subparagraph (A), the
term `research institution' means an entity that is--
(i) described in section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code
(ii) exempt from tax under section 501(a) of the Internal Revenue
Code of 1986; and
(iii) organized and operated for research purposes.
(5) GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE-
(A) IN GENERAL- The term `green infrastructure' means any stormwater
management technique that preserves, restores, enhances, or mimics
(B) INCLUSIONS- The term `green infrastructure' includes--
(i) methods that promote absorption, uptake, percolation, evapotranspiration,
and filtration by soil and plant life; and
(ii) the preservation or restoration of--
(I) natural topography, including hills, plains, ravines, and
(II) interconnected networks of natural land that protect essential
ecological functions critical for water quality;
(III) ecology, including forests, grasslands, and deserts;
(IV) bodies of water, including lakes, flood plains, headwaters,
and wetlands; and
(V) native soil characteristics of composition, structure, and
(6) INDIAN TRIBE- The term `Indian tribe' has the meaning given the
term in section 518(h) of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act
(33 U.S.C. 1377(h)).
(7) STATE- The term `State' means--
(A) each of the several States of the United States;
(B) the District of Columbia;
(C) the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico;
(F) the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands;
(G) the Federated States of Micronesia;
(H) the Republic of the Marshall Islands;
(I) the Republic of Palau; and
(J) the United States Virgin Islands.
SEC. 4. CENTERS OF EXCELLENCE FOR GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE.
(a) Establishment of Centers-
(1) IN GENERAL- The Administrator shall provide grants, on a competitive
basis, to eligible institutions to establish and maintain not less
than 3, and not more than 5, centers of excellence for green infrastructure,
to be located in various regions throughout the United States.
(2) GENERAL OPERATION- Each center shall--
(A) conduct research on green infrastructure that is relevant to
the geographical region in which the center is located, including
stormwater and sewer overflow reduction, other approaches to water
resource enhancement, and other environmental, economic, and social
(B) develop manuals and establish industry standards on best management
practices relating to State, tribal, local, and commercial green
infrastructure for use by State, tribal, and local governments and
the private sector;
(C) provide information regarding research conducted under subparagraph
(A) and manuals developed under subparagraph (B) to the national
electronic clearinghouse center for publication on the Internet
website established under subsection (c) to provide to the Federal
Government and State, tribal, and local governments and the private
sector information regarding green infrastructure;
(D) provide technical assistance to State, tribal, and local governments
to assist with the construction, operation, and maintenance of green
(E) collaborate with institutions of higher education and private
and public organizations in the geographical region in which the
center is located on green infrastructure research and technical
(F) assist institutions of higher education, secondary schools,
and vocational schools to develop green infrastructure curricula;
(G) provide training regarding green infrastructure to institutions
of higher education and professional schools;
(H) evaluate regulatory and policy issues relating to green infrastructure;
(I) coordinate with the other centers to avoid duplication of efforts.
(b) Application- To be eligible to receive a grant under this section,
an eligible institution shall prepare and submit to the Administrator
an application at such a time, in such form, and containing such information
as the Administrator may require.
(c) National Electronic Clearinghouse Center- Of the centers established
under subsection (a)(1), 1 shall--
(1) be designated as the `national electronic clearinghouse center';
(2) in addition to the other functions of that center--
(A) develop, operate, and maintain an Internet website and a public
database that contain information relating to green infrastructure;
(B) post to the website information from all centers.
SEC. 5. GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECT GRANTS.
(a) Grant Authority- The Administrator shall provide grants, on a competitive
basis, to eligible entities to carry out green infrastructure projects
in accordance with this section.
(b) Green Infrastructure Projects-
(1) PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT GRANTS- The Administrator may make planning
and development grants under this section for the following projects:
(A) Planning and designing green infrastructure projects, including
engineering surveys, landscape plans, maps, and implementation plans.
(B) Identifying and developing standards and revisions to local
zoning, building, or other local codes necessary to accommodate
green infrastructure projects.
(C) Identifying and developing fee structures to provide financial
support for design, installation, and operations and maintenance
of green infrastructure.
(D) Developing training and educational materials regarding green
infrastructure for distribution to--
(i) individuals and entities with applicable technical knowledge;
(E) Developing a green infrastructure portfolio standard program
described in section 6(e).
(2) IMPLEMENTATION GRANTS- The Administrator may make implementation
grants under this section for the following projects:
(A) Installing green infrastructure.
(B) Protecting or restoring interconnected networks of natural areas
that protect water quality.
(C) Monitoring and evaluating the environmental, economic, or social
benefits of green infrastructure.
(D) Implementing a best practices standard for a green infrastructure
(E) Implementing a green infrastructure portfolio standard program
described in section 6(e).
(c) Application- Except as otherwise provided in this Act, to be eligible
to receive a grant under this section, an eligible entity shall prepare
and submit to the Administrator an application at such time, in such
form, and containing such information as the Administrator may require,
including, as applicable--
(1) a description of the green infrastructure project;
(2) a plan for monitoring the impacts of the green infrastructure
project on the water quality and quantity;
(3) an evaluation of other environmental, economic, and social benefits
of the green infrastructure project; and
(4) a plan for the long-term operation and maintenance of the green
(d) Additional Requirement for Green Infrastructure Portfolio Standard
Project- In addition to an application under subsection (c), a State
or Indian tribe applying for a grant for a green infrastructure portfolio
standard program described in section 6(e) shall prepare and submit
to the Administrator a schedule of increasing minimum percentages of
the annual water to be managed using green infrastructure under the
(e) Priority- In making grants under this section, the Administrator
shall give priority to applications submitted on behalf of--
(A) has combined storm and sanitary sewers in the collection system
of the community; or
(B) is a low-income or disadvantaged community, as determined by
the Administrator; or
(2) an eligible entity that will use not less than 10 percent of the
grant to provide service to a low-income or disadvantaged community,
as determined by the Administrator.
(1) PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT GRANTS-
(A) SINGLE GRANT- The amount of a single planning and development
grant provided under this section shall be not more than $200,000.
(B) AGGREGATE AMOUNT- The total amount of all planning and development
grants provided under this section for a fiscal year shall be not
more than 1/3 of the total amount made available to carry out this
(2) IMPLEMENTATION GRANTS-
(A) SINGLE GRANT- The amount of a single implementation grant provided
under this section shall be not more than $3,000,000.
(B) AGGREGATE AMOUNT- The total amount of all implementation grants
provided under this section for a fiscal year shall be not more
than 2/3 of the total amount made available to carry out this section.
(1) IN GENERAL- Except as provided in paragraph (3), the Federal share
of a grant provided under this section shall not exceed 65 percent
of the total project cost.
(2) CREDIT FOR IMPLEMENTATION GRANTS- The Administrator shall credit
toward the non-Federal share of the cost of an implementation project
carried out under this section the cost of planning, design, and construction
work completed for the project using funds other than funds provided
under this Act.
(3) EXCEPTION- The Administrator may waive the Federal share limitation
under paragraph (1) for an eligible entity that has adequately demonstrated
SEC. 6. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE PROMOTION.
(a) In General- The Administrator shall ensure that the Office of Water,
the Office of Enforcement and Compliance, the Office of Research and
Development, and the Office of Policy of the Environmental Protection
Agency promote the use of green infrastructure in and coordinate the
integration of green infrastructure into permitting programs, planning
efforts, research, technical assistance, and funding guidance.
(b) Duties- The Administrator shall ensure that the Office of Water--
(1) promotes the use of green infrastructure in the programs of the
Environmental Protection Agency; and
(2) coordinates efforts to increase the use of green infrastructure
(A) other Federal departments and agencies;
(B) State, tribal, and local governments; and
(c) Regional Green Infrastructure Promotion- The Administrator shall
direct each regional office of the Environmental Protection Agency,
as appropriate based on local factors, to promote and integrate the
use of green infrastructure within the region that includes--
(1) a plan for monitoring, financing, mapping, and designing the green
(2) outreach and training regarding green infrastructure implementation
for State, tribal, and local governments, tribal communities, and
the private sector; and
(3) the incorporation of green infrastructure into permitting and
other regulatory programs, codes, and ordinance development, including
the requirements under consent decrees and settlement agreements in
(d) Green Infrastructure Information-Sharing- The Administrator shall
promote green infrastructure information-sharing, including through
an Internet website, to share information with, and provide technical
assistance to, State, tribal, and local governments, tribal communities,
the private sector, and the public regarding green infrastructure approaches
(1) reducing water pollution;
(2) protecting water resources;
(3) complying with regulatory requirements; and
(4) achieving other environmental, public health, and community goals.
(e) Green Infrastructure Portfolio Standard- The Administrator, in collaboration
with State, tribal, and local water resource managers, shall establish
voluntary measurable goals, to be known as the `green infrastructure
portfolio standard', to increase the percentage of annual water managed
by eligible entities that use green infrastructure.
SEC. 7. REPORT TO CONGRESS.
Not later than September 30, 2015, the Administrator shall submit to
Congress a report that includes, with respect to the period covered
by the report--
(1) a description of all grants provided under this Act;
(2) a detailed description of--
(A) the projects supported by those grants; and
(B) the outcomes of those projects;
(3) a description of the improvements in technology, environmental
benefits, resources conserved, efficiencies, and other benefits of
the projects funded under this Act;
(4) recommendations for improvements to promote and support green
infrastructure for the centers, grants, and activities under this
(5) a description of existing challenges concerning the use of green
SEC. 8. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.
There are authorized to be appropriated to carry out this Act such sums
as are necessary for each of fiscal years 2012 through 2017.