HOLDING WATER: Gale A. Gennaro, director of environmental health and safety Providence College, says the school is benefiting from its stormwater program, which incorporates a Low Impact Development approach.
PBN PHOTO/NATALJA KENT
By Rebecca Keister PBN Staff Writer
Weather isn’t a controllable thing.
But it is possible to manage how snow and rain storms effect the city’s and state’s water systems and natural water resources. And that’s where planning is everything, says Gale Gennaro, director of environmental health and safety at Providence College.
“Anything we can do to mitigate stormwater, to keep it on site to manage, is beneficial to the health of the streams and the bay. It has a lot of benefits,” Gennaro said.
Providence College is benefiting, Gennaro said, from being the only higher education institution in Rhode Island to have adopted a campus-wide, stormwater-management program that also incorporates a Low Impact Development (LID) approach and management practices to fit with the campus’ overall environmental goals. The Environmental Protection Agency reports LID includes practices that mimic or preserve natural drainage processes.
“Providence College has taken a holistic approach,” said Tom Uva, director of planning at the Narragansett Bay Commission, which oversees, with the R.I. Department of Environmental Management, stormwater regulations. “They really are at the forefront because they’re looking forward at solutions rather than as they come up with a project.”
Gennaro and Uva together presented “A Sustainable Approach to Stormwater Management,” at the New England Water Environment Association’s conference in Boston in late January.