WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Greener Infrastructure Manages Stormwater In D.C.

Play associated audio
D.C.'s Department of the Environment is looking to stem the overflow of stormwater, which can flush oil, heavy metals and other pollutants into the Anacostia River.
Elyce Feliz: http://www.flickr.com/photos/elycefeliz/4567971474/
D.C.'s Department of the Environment is looking to stem the overflow of stormwater, which can flush oil, heavy metals and other pollutants into the Anacostia River.

Under a new agreement with the Environmental Protection Agency, developers and the District of Columbia will be using greener infrastructure to manage its stormwater problem.

“Green roofs, we’ll plant roughly 4000 trees a year, we’ll be putting gin more rain barrels, rain gardens, bioretention swales -- channeling stormwater into places where it can be absorbed and not just shoot out," says Christophe Tulou, director of D.C.'s Department of the Environment.

These additions, which have transformed Yards Park in southeast D.C. into a place overgrown with grasses and trees, are designed to capture stormwater which would otherwise flush heavy metals, dirt, oil and smog into the Anacostia river. Tulou says the city will be getting a lot more of these and other forms of natural infrastructure.

This is under the new stormwater permit designed by the EPA. The permit requires that any new development or redevelopment retain the first 1.2 inches of rain fall in a storm and use it -- to flush toilets or to water gardens, for example.

Some developers worry they won’t be able to do that in highly built-up D.C. The city says its regulations will be flexible, and builders may be able to pay for upgrades elsewhere in the city to offset their own development.

NPR

'Game Of Thrones' Evolves On Women In Explosive Sixth Season

The sixth season of HBO's Game of Thrones showed a real evolution in the way the show portrays women and in the season finale, several female characters ascended to power. NPR's Kelly McEvers talks to Glen Weldon from NPR's Pop Culture Happy Hour and Greta Johnsen, host of the Nerdette podcast, about the show.
NPR

In Quest For Happier Chickens, Perdue Shifts How Birds Live And Die

Perdue Farms, one of the largest poultry companies in the country, says it will change its slaughter methods and also some of its poultry houses. Animal welfare groups are cheering.
WAMU 88.5

Jonathan Rauch On How American Politics Went Insane

Party insiders and backroom deals: One author on why we need to bring back old-time politics.

WAMU 88.5

Episode 5: Why 1986 Still Matters

In 1986, a federal official issued a warning: If Metro continued to expand rapidly, the system faced a future of stark choices over maintaining existing infrastructure. Metro chose expansion. We talk to a historian about that decision. We also hear from a former Metro general manager about the following years, and from an Arlington planner about measuring how riders are responding to SafeTrack.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.