WASHINGTON, D.C. – The House of Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment recently held a hearing on the impact of green infrastructure and low impact development on the nation’s water quality, economy, and communities. The hearing featured testimony from Congressional, municipal, and business community witnesses.
Rep. Allyson Schwartz, D-Pa., the lead witness, testified on her own legislative proposal – the “Green Communities Act,” which is strongly supported by the American Nursery & Landscape Association (ANLA), and the Pennsylvania Landscape & Nursery Association (PLNA).
“The Green Communities Act would help to replicate elsewhere the very aggressive and successful green infrastructure program now underway in the City of Philadelphia,” said Chad Forcey, director of government relations with PLNA.
Goals under Philadelphia’s program include increasing tree coverage by 30 percent by 2025 by planting 300,000 trees, and a $1.6 billion investment in using green infrastructure to help manage the city’s storm water.
The Green Communities Act would leverage public/private partnerships to expand green infrastructure capacity in dozens of cities and towns across the U.S. As Schwartz testified, the Green Communities Act “will yield multiple benefits – improved water quality, a cleaner environment, and enhanced economic development. Infrastructure investments can accomplish multiple goals and yield multiple public benefits. In tough financial times, the ability to meet multiple community needs with smart and targeted investments makes common sense.”
“We thank the Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment for looking into the vital environmental and economic contributions provided by plants and the managed landscape,” said Craig Regelbrugge, ANLA vice president for government relations. “Thanks to Rep. Schwartz for her leadership on this issue, and we look forward to working with her and other supporters to advance this legislation."
More details on the hearing can be found here.
Schwartz’ testimony can be viewed here.