New Senate Bill Gives Cities Green Technologies to Clean Water, Lower Costs

ASLA applauds bill’s sustainable approach to infrastructure development.


The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) today announced support for new Senate legislation designed to encourage green infrastructure – a novel, sustainable approach that uses natural systems of trees, plants and soils to manage rainwater instead of the overburdened and outdated infrastructure that currently exists in cities.

In most instances, rainwater picks up pollutants as it flows from driveways, parking lots, roofs and roadways before pouring untreated through the sewer system into the nearest watershed or drinking water supply. Introduced by U.S. Senator Tom Udall, the Green Infrastructure for Clean Water Act (S.3561) offers grants and technical assistance for communities to use green roofs, rain gardens and other sustainable approaches that naturally capture and clean the rainwater – often preventing the water from ever entering the sewer system.

“Green infrastructure techniques can save cities millions of dollars each year on water management and billions of dollars in infrastructure upgrades. In addition, these natural systems actually remove pollutants from the water while helping clean the air, reduce the urban heat-island effect and lower energy consumption,” said ASLA Executive Vice President and CEO, Nancy Somerville. Hon. ASLA. “We applaud the leadership of Senator Udall for this legislation, and encourage swift action.”

The legislation would create between three and five centers around the country to research best green infrastructure practices and provide technical assistance to communities. S.3561 also provides community grants to implement these practices and create a green infrastructure program within the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

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About ASLA
Founded in 1899, ASLA is the national professional association for landscape architects, representing more than 16,000 members in 48 professional chapters and 68 student chapters. The Society's mission is to lead, to educate and to participate in the careful stewardship, wise planning, and artful design of our cultural and natural environments. Members of the Society use their “ASLA” suffix after their names to denote membership and their commitment to the highest ethical standards of the profession. Learn more about landscape architecture online at


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