The Environmental Protection Agency awarded the Volkswagen Group of America with the regional 2014 EPA Rain Catcher Award in the Commercial Category for the Chattanooga assembly plant. The award was given at an award ceremony during the Environmental Protection Agency, Region 4/International Erosion Control Association Municipal Wet Weather Stormwater Conference, in Charlotte, N.C.
The Volkswagen Group’s Chattanooga facility is the world’s first LEED Platinum Certified Automotive Facility. The facility has voluntarily set aside at least 20% of the property as open space and implemented a host of practices aimed to protect stormwater. These practices include the use of bioswales in the facility parking lots and the construction of 3.3 miles of stream and 2.8 miles of greenspace. The site collects stormwater from its roof for use in its cooling tower and toilets. The site also has two distinct wetlands that are critical to the survival of several wildlife species such as the Red Headed Woodpecker and the Rusty Blackbird.
The EPA Region 4 Rain Catcher Award recognizes excellence in the implementation of stormwater green infrastructure practices. Green infrastructure uses natural systems and/or engineered systems designed to mimic natural processes to more effectively manage urban stormwater and reduce receiving water impacts. EPA and its partner organizations have promoted the use of green infrastructure for many years as part of a comprehensive approach to achieving healthier waters. Green infrastructure reduces the volume of stormwater discharges by managing rainwater close to where it falls and removes many of the pollutants present in runoff, making it an effective strategy for addressing wet weather pollution and improving water quality.
For more information regarding the Region 4 Rain Catcher Awards or the Water Protection Division, visit http://www2.epa.gov/aboutepa/epa-region-4s-rain-catcher-award.