Seattle plans to invest in major upgrades to stormwater systems to protect local waterways

April 17, 2013

SEATTLE, Wash. — The agreements are the result of extensive federal and state government cooperation for employing more green infrastructure projects.

SEATTLE, Wash. — King County and the city of Seattle, Wash. have agreed to invest in major upgrades to local sewage and combined stormwater collection, piping and treatment under settlements with the Department of Justice and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), according to a press release.

The state of Washington was a co-plaintiff and partner in these settlements.

The agreements are the result of extensive federal and state government cooperation and pave the way for employing more “green infrastructure” projects like green roofs, permeable pavements, and urban runoff gardens, which help reduce demands on local sewer and stormwater systems, stated the release.

“EPA is working with cities and counties to find smart, effective solutions to reduce raw sewage and contaminated stormwater,” said Cynthia Giles, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. “Today’s settlements allow Seattle and King County to tackle their biggest water quality problems first and use innovative solutions, like green infrastructure, to help dramatically improve local water quality.”

“Today’s settlement will substantially reduce overflows of sewage-contaminated stormwater into the Puget Sound and other area waterways and significantly benefit the environment and health of residents of King County and Seattle,” said Ignacia S. Moreno, assistant attorney general for the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division. “The agreement provides a long-term planning approach to managing the area’s stormwater that integrates green infrastructure and requires improvements to system-wide sewer operations and maintenance.”

Read the entire press release here.

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