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Greening your neighborhood from the ground up Leslie Belfor | Thu, Jul 08 2010 03:22 PM

Your pavement can have a significant effect on the environment.

Here’s why:  The right road, street and parking lot paving can lower storm water runoff, thereby reducing pollution. Many folks are asking their municipal officials to consider using permeable interlocking concrete pavement, which resembles popular concrete paving stones with small spaces between them. The space is filled with small stones to allow runoff to filter down and into the soil. They come in a variety of styles and colors to suit most places and purposes.

In addition, permeable pavements:

• Meet U.S. Environmental Protection Agency storm water performance criteria as a structural best management practice while providing parking, road and pedestrian surfaces;

• Provide compliance with the U.S. National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System regulations;

•  Reduce runoff from common rainstorms by as much as 100%; eliminate surface puddles and flooding;

• Promote street tree survival;

• Reduce ice hazards because snow melts faster;

• Have a 50-year life cycle for surface;

• Are compatible with underground storm water storage systems, many slower-draining clay soils and cold climates;

• Preserve wooded areas that would otherwise be cleared for storm water detention or retention ponds;

• Contribute to urban heat island reduction through evaporation and reflective, light-colored pavers;

• Are highly visible;

• Reduce the need for continuous expansion of drainage infrastructure;

• May be used on sloped site with proper design;

• Simplify surface and subsurface repairs; no unsightly patches or weakened pavement from utility cuts;

• Can be used to calm traffic;

• Enhance property values.

Consider contacting your local municipal officials to make sure that they are aware of the benefits of permeable pavements.

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