For Immediate Release: April 8, 2014
Providence College Receives Environmental Merit Award from Narragansett Bay Commission
Providence, R.I. – Providence College (PC) has recently been awarded the 2013 Narragansett Bay Commission (NBC) Environmental Merit Award for its stormwater management efforts, demonstrating innovation and a commitment to controlling stormwater discharges to the NBC system. PC is the first two-time winner of the award.
Several factors played a role in the evaluation process of all this year’s candidates including, volume/toxicity reduction of pollutants, demonstrating a commitment to sound environmental management practices, employee participation, and benefits to workers and the community.
While most of Rhode Island’s higher ed institutions have individual stormwater programs for specific projects around their campuses, PC has taken it a step further and has developed a comprehensive, Master Plan stormwater management program.
In years past, PC’s main objective was always to be in compliance with NBC and the RI DEM stormwater regulations. While that continues today, the College has continued its open communication with the NBC and DEM as the College adopts Low Impact Development (LID) strategies for controlling campus stormwater.
PC’s Master Plan stormwater management approach looks at the College as a whole, and takes into consideration short and long- term stormwater impacts as the campus grows. The objective is to utilizes best management practices to increase stormwater infiltration on-site, whereby helping to reduce erosion, and sediment loading to the City stormwater system, and in doing so, help to alleviate ecological problems associated with peak stormwater runoff.
Presently, PC has three Bioswales (rain gardens) with two more planned associated with new construction. These bioswales not only help to mitigate stormwater runoff, but also serve as outdoor classrooms and laboratory space for students, supporting the College’s overall academic and sustainability goals.