Clarion Associates was retained by the Smart Growth Office of the United States Environmental Protection Agency to assist in the development of a comprehensive Low-Impact Development Audit Tool for use in assessing local storm water management and water quality protection programs. The U.S. EPA and several states are encouraging local governments to use low-impact development and green infrastructure approaches to storm water management and improving water quality as an alternative to traditional “gray” infrastructure
involving pipes, concrete, and “hard” solutions. These alternative tools include, among others, use of open space and bioswales for infiltration of storm water, pervious pavement, tree protection, and clustered, mixed-use developments to reduce impervious surfaces. Chris Duerksen of Clarion Associates played a major role in developing the overall format of the audit tool, identifying specific approaches, and designing a point system for local self-assessment.