Pittsburgh, PA - The Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority (PWSA) board approved a resolution today to establish a Green Infrastructure Grant Program, which will incentivize private property owners and community organizations to implement projects that manage stormwater with green infrastructure (GI).
The Green Infrastructure Grant Program aligns with PWSA’s Wet Weather Feasibility Study to fund projects that improve water quality by managing stormwater in greener ways, boost the local market for GI design and installation services, increase public awareness of GI benefits, and stimulate economic development.
“This grant program will position PWSA as a leader in green infrastructure while leveraging additional private and public investment. Recipients will join PWSA in its efforts to improve Pittsburgh’s water quality,” PWSA Interim Executive Director Jim Good said.
The program will consist of reimbursement-based 50 percent matching grants for larger-scale GI projects, and mini-grants of up to $5,000. The initial budget is $250,000, of which $175,000 will be allocated for matching grants and $75,000 for mini-grants. This will support approximately 7-12 large-scale projects and 15-20 smaller projects throughout PWSA’s service area.
Funded projects will produce a documented reduction in stormwater runoff entering the sewer system. Examples of eligible projects include rain gardens, GI streetscaping, and replacement of impervious pavement in parking lots with porous surfaces to reduce the amount of stormwater runoff entering our local waterways.
The grant program was recommended by PWSA’s Green Infrastructure Technical Advisory Committee (GITAC), a group of local professionals who provide expert advice to PWSA on incorporating GI projects and policies into its wet weather planning and improvement program. The Green Infrastructure Grant Program is based on successful programs implemented in cities such as Milwaukee, New York, Seattle, and Portland, Oregon.
PWSA approved two other major programs in January: the Residential Homeowner Assistance Program (RHAP) to aid Pittsburgh homeowners facing potentially steep costs to remove storm water connections from sanitary sewers, and a contract for Integrated Watershed Management Planning in the Saw Mill Run Watershed, which will identify water quality improvement projects to demonstrate the effectiveness of the integrated watershed management process in the Pittsburgh region.
If you have any questions please contact: Itha Cao, SCA Green Cities Fellow via email (Icao@pgh2o.com) or phone (412-255-8800 ext. 8562)