EPA touts green solutions post-Sandy

July 18, 2013 at 8:25 AM

WASHINGTON, July 18 (UPI) -- So-called green infrastructure could help East Coast areas like New Jersey handle events like Hurricane Sandy better, the Environmental Protection Agency said.

Hurricane Sandy, a late 2012 storm, flooded subway stations in New York, left millions of consumers without power for days and caused sand displacement that wrecked area roads. More than 150 people died as a result of the storm.

The U.S. Interior Department in May said it would offer more than $475 million in disaster relief for reconstruction and recovery efforts following the storm.

The EPA said it was holding a forum July 31 in New Jersey to discuss best management practices for green infrastructure, things like green roofs and rain gardens that mirror natural water sinks. Green infrastructure would be used in place of concrete storm water infrastructure.

"Green infrastructure makes both fiscal and environmental sense, especially given that communities need to start adapting to the growing effects of climate change," EPA Regional Administrator Judith Enck said in a statement Wednesday.

Sandy formed over Atlantic waters that were warmer than the seasonal average. The World Meteorological Organization said 2012 was the ninth warmest year on record despite a cooling La Nina weather pattern earlier in the year.

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