Funding Green Infrastructure Projects


Community Funding

Communities can easily integrate green infrastructure initiatives into other community improvement or capital projects such as

  • transportation corridor upgrades,
  • pedestrian safety upgrades,
  • neighborhood revitalization efforts,
  • road repaving, and
  • utility work.

By integrating green infrastructure into these planned projects, communities can achieve significant cost savings as compared to retrofit projects focused solely on installing green infrastructure practices. Education for private developers can help them include green infrastructure into their designs.


Financing Green Infrastructure Projects

December 2017

Municipal budget officers have long been familiar with the intricacies of capital improvement planning, which allows governments to align infrastructure investments with their communities’ long-range comprehensive plans.

Conventional stormwater management systems (often called “gray”) contain stormwater runoff in reservoirs and massive underground pipes and tunnels—large scale public works projects—to pre­vent polluted runoff from draining directly into waterways.  

Read more, link to the APA and NRPA Financing Green Infrastructure Projects.

Using Low Impact Development and Green Infrastructure to Get Benefits From FEMA Programs

EPA promotes the use of Low Impact Development (LID) and Green Infrastructure (GI) as a cost-effective and resilient approach to stormwater management.  LID/GI provides many community benefits including cleaner water, wildlife habitat, enhanced aesthetics, and can be designed to supplement localized or watershed flood protection.

LID/GI projects that reduce flood losses to properties insured under the NFIP may be eligible for grant funding through FEMA.  In addition, LID/GI projects may allow a community to claim points toward flood insurance discounts.

LID/GI ordinances and other environmental planning may allow a community to claim points toward flood insurance discounts under the Community Rating System (CRS) developed by FEMA.  LID/GI projects that reduce flood losses to properties insured under the NFIP may be eligible for grant funding through FEMA.

Working with the Markets: Economic Instruments to Support Investment in Green Stormwater Infrastructure 2017

By Seth Brown, Storm & Stream Solutions, LLC and Carrie Sanneman, Williamette Partnership

Urban stormwater runoff is one of the most significant environmental issues facing communities today.  Flooding, water supply, water quality, habitat degradation, and other impacts associated with runoff are increasing due to urbanization, more episodic climatic regime, and rising temperatures.

Communities are in need of cost-effective and innovative ways to drive investment and implementation of green infrastructure for stormwater management.  This report summarizes how stormwater managers can work with market forces, applying “economic instruments” to address these critical issues and meet their program goals.  Economic instruments recognize and deliberately work within the economic system to create action or drive investment that meets environmental goals.  They include the use of rebates, subsides, trading, and mitigation.  Economic instruments are a useful tool for stormwater managers because they can:

  • Increase the coverage of green infrastructure on both public and private lands, for new development and urban retrofits;
  • Provide flexibility for regulated entities trying to meet stormwater requirements;
  • Provide a vehicle for both public and private investments; and
  • Enhance the efficiency of delivering benefits associated with stormwater infrastructure.

Incentives-based approaches motivate the installation of stormwater controls by offering cost avoidance, financial gain, or program/project support.  Stormwater programs often use rebates, subsidies, or project/logistical support as an incentive for private parties to install green infrastructure.  Mitigation or credit-based approaches are those in which stormwater benefits are quantified as a currency or “credit” and traded between parties to mitigate or offset regulatory requirements.  This creates an incentive for pollution controls to occur where it is most cost-effective to do so.  These programs provide flexibility for regulated parties and create an incentive to develop new, more cost effective methods to reduce pollution and/or control stormwater volume.

Read more about Willamette Partnership publications resources.