Advocacy

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Advocacy

Advocating for policies that advance the green stormwater infrastructure industry and innovation

A significant portion of our work is advocating for policies that advance the green stormwater infrastructure industry and innovation, including driving market demand for nature-based stormwater management through incentives, streamlined project approvals, creative financing, and project delivery methods.

We are proactive and responsive to relevant agencies and stakeholders on topics that impact the growth of the GSI industry and its role in shifting the economic ecosystem towards, localism, equity, and climate resilience.

We are the trusted voice for the region’s GSI industry, and our many research contributions have been used locally and nationally to demonstrate the value and necessity of prioritizing green infrastructure solutions.

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“We like supporting a progressive organization like SBN. It is a unique association and a real gem to the businesses that participate in the Philadelphia region who are fostering green infrastructure and storm water management practices. SBN and GSI Partners offer a forum for like-minded businesses to meet, network, and exchange ideas.”

Steve CastoraniPresident, North Creek Nurseries, Inc

Research & Publications

The Impact of Green City, Clean Waters on Philadelphia (May 2019)How PWD’s Greened Acre Retrofit Program Can Spur Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Stormwater Management (August 2016)The Economic Impact of Green City, Clean Waters: The First Five Years (February 2016)Comment Letter on July 2015 Stormwater Regulatory Update (February – September 2015)SBN’s Good Economy Challenge (March 2015)Green Roof Tax Credit Testimony (March 2015)Stormwater Plan Review Report: Compliments and Recommendations for Continued Improvements (November 2014)Local Community of Practice Report: Recommendations to PWD Maximizing Green City Clean Waters’ Success (February 2014)

The Impact of Green City, Clean Waters on Philadelphia (May 2019)

In 2019, SBN published an update to our 2016 impact report on Green City, Clean Waters (GCCW). With this new report, we identified ways GSI is contributing to larger City goals on economic and racial equity and climate resiliency. We presented the results of our study to City decision-makers and we continue to advocate for the City to strongly support GCCW and GSI. Read the report and view the infographic.

How PWD’s Greened Acre Retrofit Program Can Spur Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Stormwater Management (August 2016)

SBN, in partnership with the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) completed this report in 2016. The report provides recommendations for an innovative competitive grant program launched in 2014 by the Philadelphia Water Department (PWD) to encourage the development of green infrastructure on private property. The Greened Acre Retrofit Program (GARP) provides competitive grant funding to firms that propose lowest-cost retrofit opportunities. SBN and NRDC conducted interviews with approximately twenty firms to understand their perceptions of GARP and to hear first-hand what changes to the program structure would make it easier for them to submit GARP applications and prepare innovative project plans.

The Economic Impact of Green City, Clean Waters: The First Five Years (February 2016)

This highly anticipated report was commissioned by SBN’s GSI Partners in 2015 to measure the local economic impact of the first five years of Green City, Clean Waters (GCCW). SBN staff held a briefing with City Council to share the key findings and advocate for their ongoing support of GCCW. Read the Report

Comment Letter on July 2015 Stormwater Regulatory Update (February – September 2015)

In advance of the Stormwater Regulatory Update, we, along with NRDC and PennFuture, sent a letter to PWD offering our support on certain aspects of the proposed changes and comments and concerns about others. Read the summary of PWD’s response to us from September 2015 – via in person conversations and written replies. We note what we heard the Department can currently do, what we heard is the intent of certain aspects of the Guidance Manual, and what we heard might be premature to do at this time. As always, we appreciate PWD’s communication with us, and look forward to continuing the dialogue with them to support progress in these and other areas. Read the Letter

SBN’s Good Economy Challenge (March 2015)

SBN called on the Kenney administration and City Council to advance Green City, Clean Waters through a number of policy recommendations. Read the GCCW section of SBN’s Good Economy Challenge

Green Roof Tax Credit Testimony (March 2015)

SBN Staff, along with several members, testified to City Council in support of the expansion of the Green Roof tax credit, and offered recommendations for continued improvements to the credit and the process. SBN Testimony to City Council on Green Roofs Tax Credit

Stormwater Plan Review Report: Compliments and Recommendations for Continued Improvements (November 2014)

In anticipation of the July 2015 Regulatory Updates, and to support our goals of seeing better facilitation of greener and more innovative stormwater management practices, SBN evaluated what is working well with PWD’s current Stormwater Plan Review process, unpacked where there might be opportunities for improvement, and provided recommendations. Recommendations fell into five categories: Communication, Resources and Website, Process, Code and Policy, and Internal and External Coordination. Summary of Stormwater Plan Review Recommendations & Read the Full Report

Local Community of Practice Report: Recommendations to PWD Maximizing Green City Clean Waters’ Success (February 2014)

SBN’s GSI Partners convened a Local Community of Practice, an immersive leadership development initiative for a subset of GSI Partners. The group was tasked with crafting recommendations on how to maximize the success of Green City, Clean Waters, especially as it relates to small and local business. Recommendations fell into the following categories: Policy; Process; Innovation and Research & Development; Financing; Contracting and Procurement; and Resources. Read the Full Report

GSI Precedent Library

A variety of stakeholders, including our members, developers and property owners, and the Philadelphia Water Department, agree that there is a significant need for more data on the performance of green stormwater infrastructure (GSI) projects, and for that data to be publicly available. More data on the performance of best management practices (BMP’s) such as rain gardens, stormwater tree trenches, porous pavements, and green roofs, support GSI Partners’ objectives for research and innovation that advances of the state-of-the-art of the GSI industry. With additional knowledge on the performance of GSI, industry professionals can continue to improve the design and performance of BMPs; developers and property owners can increase their knowledge-base on the value of investing in GSI; and regulatory agencies can expand the performance metrics used to approve GSI projects.

One of the ways SBN, via the GSI Partners, is addressing the need for more information on the degree to which GSI performs is through the development of a GSI Precedent Library. The Library was developed in partnership with The Delaware Valley Green Building Council (DVGBC), with support from a strong consultant team that includes members Meliora Design, Andropogon Associates, and Roofmeadow, all nationally recognized industry experts.

The GSI Precedent Library features a collection of case studies of highly effective GSI projects from across the country that demonstrates the dynamic performance capacity of best management practices. The case studies are complimented by peer-reviewed research that further defends the environmental, social, and economic benefits of green stormwater infrastructure.

The development of the GSI Precedent Library’s was enhanced by two symposia, jointly hosted by SBN’s GSI Partners and DVGBC, which brought researchers and practitioners together to exchange ideas and learn from one another’s work. The symposia, held in May and June 2016, examined soil and plant performance in green stormwater infrastructure systems.

Exceeding Intent: A Precedent Library of Exemplary Green Stormwater Infrastructure Projects
Download the report as a PDF

Symposia #1: Soil Performance in GSI Systems:

Symposia #2: Plant Performance in GSI Systems:

The Precedent Library will be used to aid the GSI Partners’ ongoing efforts to advance the local GSI industry and innovation.

*The Precedent Library was publicly presented for the first time at the GSI Partners Quarterly Meeting on October 25th at Temple University’s Center City Campus. The GSI Partners Quarterly Meetings are an opportunity for members and non-members alike to come together to learn about the latest happenings in the GSI industry and engage in conversations with peers.

Government Relations

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