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Permeable Pavements Included in Federal Transportation Policy

The future of managing water pollution from storm water runoff through permeable pavements has just taken a giant leap thanks to ICPI.  ICPI is the Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute.  All professional paver installers are ICPI certified installers (if they are not ICPI certified then they are not professional installers).  ICPI sets forth the guidelines for correct paver installation with the help of the paver manufacturers across the United States.  Kingdom Landscaping is ICPI Certified, in addition to being PICP (Permeable Interlocking Concrete Pavers) Certified.

Here is the full article that was just released from ICPI.  It is filled with some legal and technical jargon, but I hope it will help educate those who are considering permeable pavers as a way to combat poor drainage areas and storm water runoff.

April 27, 2016

(Washington DC) – The U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee has passed a bill out of full Committee that includes language to extend and continue work on permeable pavements for Transportation applications.

ICPI commended the language and is supporting it on both sides of Capitol Hill.

The language is in S.Rpt. 114-243, the report to accompany the Senate version of the Transportation and Housing and Urban Development Bill – aka the THUD Appropriations bill.

ICPI championed legislation on MAP-21 include permeable pavements for the first time in federal Transportation policy.  The new language passed by the Committee last week urges FHWA to continue and accelerate work on permeable pavements. ICPI supported the language with multiple Senators with membership on Senate Appropriations.

The Senate language is as follows:

Permeable Pavements.—The Committee encourages the Secretary to accelerate research, demonstration, and deployment for permeable pavements to achieve flood mitigation, pollutant reduction, stormwater runoff reduction and conservation. Projects may include roadway shoulder load testing and documenting life-cycle cost efficiency. 

“This is one of ICPI’s chief goals in accessing government policy to drive expansion of use for PICP,” said Charles McGrath, CAE, Executive Director of ICPI.  “The federal government is in a position to lead on this matter, particularly in Transportation.  And specifically, we need FHWA work validation on our life cycle cost arguments. ”

“The U.S. seems poised to ramp up construction on Transportation facilities, and we want to position our industry to have an attractive portion of that market,” said Matt Lynch, chairman of ICPI.  We want to attract all the attention we can, and encouraged FHWA to help us reduce barriers to adoption in specifying permeable pavements on not only mass transit projects, but roadway shoulders as well.”

ICPI has been lobbying Capitol Hill to raise visibility and appreciation for permeable pavements as a means to build elements of the transportation infrastructure in ways that allow for stormwater reduction, improvement of water quality and “green” landscaping.  MAP-21 was the first milestone in this effort in modifying U.S. law.  The current language is the next step for ICPI as Transportation stakeholder.

“Fortunately, the U.S. Senate has top talent working on Transportation issues,” said Randall Pence of Capitol Hill Advocates and ICPI’s legislative counsel on Capitol Hill.  “In particular, we want to recognize Chairwoman Susan Collins of Maine, Ranking Member Jack Reed of Rhode Island, and their exceptional staff on the Senate THUD Appropriations Subcommittee.  They see the stormwater, road safety and green construction benefits in permeables for the country.”

Increasingly, all federal agencies, including USDOT and FHWA, are being charged with mitigating stormwater runoff and improving environmental quality in government-related construction and development.  ICPI supports this evolution of federal policy and is lobbying Congress and the federal agencies to increase the momentum.

With passage by the full Committee, the next step for the THUD bill will be floor consideration.

Meanwhile, the House is working on its version of the THUD bill and may report its version in the coming weeks.  ICPI is taking an identical message to its lobbying meetings on the House side of Capitol Hill.