The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

March 1, 2013

Neosho receives $30,000 EPA grant; funds for green infrastructure to mitigate stormwater runoff

By Roger McKinney

NEOSHO, Mo. — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded a $30,000 grant to the city of Neosho for technical assistance to determine the best techniques to manage rainwater through the use of green infrastructure.

The purpose of the grant is to identify environmentally friendly infrastructure to handle rainwater that can be created or developed in the future.

Technical research already is complete, and the EPA has financed a private consulting firm to perform the work.

“Green infrastructure provides many community benefits, including the reduction of stormwater runoff, neighborhood revitalization and reduction of pollutants in local streams,” said Karl Brooks, EPA regional administrator. “The technical assistance supports work such as review of city codes and ordinances to identify barriers to green infrastructure and recommend appropriate revisions as needed.”

A city news release states the stormwater is a challenge to water quality. Large volumes of polluted rainwater degrade aquatic habitats and contributes to downstream flooding. Green infrastructure decreases pollution by treating rainwater where it falls and helping to keep polluted stormwater from entering sewer systems.

Nationwide, the EPA is providing $950,000 in technical assistance to help 17 communities expand the use of green infrastructure to improve water quality. The strategies include rain gardens, wetlands, green roofs and permeable pavement.

“Neosho is honored to have been included with 16 other cities nationwide to participate in this grant,” said Dana Daniel, Neosho development director, in the news release. “As communities move forward with better stormwater practices, there is a realization that our neighborhoods and streams can benefit in many ways. The technical assistance provided in this grant will be beneficial to our community for many years to come.”

Public meeting

The city of Neosho has scheduled a public meeting for 9 a.m. Wednesday, April 17, at the Crowder College Missouri Alternative and Renewable Energy Technology Center to present the results of the green infrastructure technical assistance project.