The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has awarded an $886,000 grant to the District of Columbia Department of Energy and Environment (DOEE) to help pay for canopies to protect municipal industrial vehicles and reduce harmful pollutants.
“Urban stormwater is a significant source of water pollution and can be a serious public health concern,” says Adam Ortiz, the EPA’s mid-Atlantic regional administrator. “This funding will support the District of Columbia’s efforts to help prevent pollutants from draining from public works vehicles into local waterways.”
According to a news release from the EPA, municipal industrial vehicles such as trash trucks can leach pollutants including heavy metals, salt, oils and sediment onto roadways that drain into local sewers and local waterways. This funding will be used to design and construct two municipal industrial vehicle canopies totaling 55,100 square feet and to regrade the surrounding area.
The DOEE says it anticipates the project will divert approximately 41,188 gallons of stormwater from coming in contact with these industrial vehicles before entering the district’s stormwater system.
The EPA says stormwater improvements in the district also support efforts to restore the Chesapeake Bay. This is because the urban runoff from the district eventually runs into the Potomac River and other waterways that ultimately feed into the Chesapeake Bay.
The funding comes from the EPA’s Sewer Overflow and Stormwater Reuse Municipal Grants (OSG) program that provides grants to manage combined sewer overflows, sanitary sewer overflows and stormwater flows.
This is the first year of the OSG program, and the District of Columbia is the first recipient of an OSG grant. Overall, the EPA will be awarding more than $67 million in OSG grants.