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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Apr 14, 2015.
Innovative Stormwater Infrastructure Act of 2015
This bill requires the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to provide grants to eligible higher education institutions and research institutions to establish and maintain between three and five centers of excellence for innovative stormwater control infrastructure, which is any stormwater management technique that: (1) uses natural systems or engineered systems that mimic natural processes to infiltrate, evapotranspire, or capture stormwater; and (2) preserves, enhances, or mimics natural hydrology to protect or restore water quality. One of the centers must be the national electronic clearinghouse center and operate a website and a public database on the infrastructure.
The EPA must: (1) provide grants to eligible entities that manage stormwater, water resources, or wastewater resources to carry out innovative stormwater control infrastructure projects; and (2) give priority to applications from a community that has combined storm and sanitary sewers in its collection system or is low-income or disadvantaged, or from an eligible entity that will use at least 10% of the grant for a low-income or disadvantaged community.
The EPA must ensure that: (1) EPA's Office of Water, Office of Enforcement and Compliance, Office of Research and Development, and Office of Policy promote the use of the infrastructure in, and coordinate its integration into, permitting programs, planning efforts, research, technical assistance, and funding guidance; and (2) the Office of Water supports establishing innovative financing mechanisms in the implementation of the infrastructure. The EPA must: (1) direct each EPA regional office to promote and integrate the use of the infrastructure within the region, and (2) promote sharing information about the infrastructure approaches.
The EPA must establish the innovative stormwater control infrastructure portfolio standard of voluntary, measurable goals to increase the percentage of annual water managed by entities that use the infrastructure.