Private Pennies Financing GSI

Opportunity for GSI

Commercial sites like this one have many incentives to use GSI to help manage stormwater.

It looks like 2013 will be a big year for private financing of green stormwater infrastructure (GSI)! According to the Natural Resources Defense Council blog, the private sector will likely step up financing of GSI this year for three reasons: 1) increased interest in GSI by cities across the country, 2) recent severe weather patterns, and 3) the recommendations of the high-profile NY State 2100 Commission in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.

In Philadelphia we have several opportunities to work with the private sector to leverage public investment in green stormwater infrastructure. The Philadelphia Water Department’s (PWD) parcel-based stormwater billing for commercial customers provides a financial incentive to manage stormwater on  properties through green infrastructure. In addition, non-residential property owners are eligible to apply for grants to help finance these improvements through PWD’s Stormwater Management Incentives Program. Finally, through the City’s stormwater regulations, new construction or renovations that disturb 15,000 square feet or more must manage the first inch of stormwater runoff on-site.

Visit the NRDC blog to read more about why the private sector has reasons to increase financial support for green stormwater infrastructure, and to get a sneak preview of their upcoming 2013 report on this topic.