Green parking lots?

EPA tests permeable surfaces for parking lots.
Written by Harry Fuller, Contributor

Aren't parking lots supposed to kill all life beneath them and then produce run-off laced with petrochemicals and plastic candy wrappers? Apparently some idealists think there might be a better way.

Now the EPA's testing various parking pavements at their facility in Edison, New Jersey. A good place to come up with a useful invention.

EPA now has three kinds of permeable pavement on their parking lot. They've also planted several rain gardens with varying vegetation for the study. Over the next decade, EPA will evaluate the effectiveness of each pavement type and the rain gardens in removing pollutants from stormwater, and how they help water filter back into the ground. The rain gardens are supposed to stop the flash flood effect of heavy rainfall or rapid snowmelt on hard surfaces.

The EPA will see how each type of pavement handles traffic and vehicle-related pollution like leaking oil. Run-off from hard surfaces like streets, parking lots and driveways are a major source of water pollution in the U.S. and most developed nations. If we convert to more electric cars there will be a major reduction in petrochemicals dripped from cars and trucks.

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