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Green Infrastructure

Exploring the Link Between Green Infrastructure and Air Quality

While green infrastructure can help communities manage stormwater, using vegetated systems like green roofs and tree barriers can also help improve air quality and reduce urban heat island effects. These practices shade building surfaces, deflect radiation from the sun, and release moisture into the atmosphere.  Additionally, natural features such as urban forests and vegetative barriers planted near roads, parking lots, and city centers, help reduce the impact of vehicle emissions and improve local air quality.  Green infrastructure can assist in the reduction of particulate pollution and ground-level ozone as well as provide public health benefits. In this webcast, speakers from EPA's Office of Research and Development and Office of Atmospheric Programs discussed innovative research into the multiple benefits of green infrastructure and explore the nexus between green infrastrucutre and air quality.


August 9, 2017 
1:00 - 2:30 pm EDT

Session 1: Recommendations for Constructing Roadside Vegetation Barriers to Improve Near-Road Air Quality

Richard Baldauf, Senior Engineer, U.S. EPA, Office of Research and Development

Richard will present EPA’s Office of Research and Development report published in August 2016, Recommendations for Constructing Roadside Vegetation Barriers to Improve Near-Road Air Quality, about how roadside vegetation affects local air quality. The report was developed to support projects planting roadside vegetation with recommendations that can be used by states, communities and individuals interested in reducing roadside pollution.

Session 2: Estimating the Environmental Effects of Green Roofs: A Case Study in Kansas City

Robyn DeYoung, Environmental Specialist, U.S. EPA, Office of Air and Radiation

Robyn will present a case study demonstrating the environmental benefits of green roofs in Kansas City, Missouri (KCMO). She will describe how any local jurisdiction can use free and easily accessible tools to quantify the benefits of green roofs for stormwater management, air pollution, energy savings and public health. The presentation will highlight a replicable methodology using EPA's AVERT tool and the Green Roof Energy Calculator  as well as results from Kansas City's case study.


Richard Baldauf, PhD, PE,  is a Senior research engineer that works for EPA's National Risk Management Research Laboratory in Research Triangle Park, NC. His research focuses on the the impact of transporation source emissions on air quality and public health, and how these impacts can be mitigated. Richard holds a master's degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a PhD from the University of Kansas, both in environmental engineering. His bachelor's degree in civil engineering was earned at Virginia Tech. Richard has published more than 75 peer-reviewed journal articles during his 15 years at EPA.

Robyn DeYoung is an Environmental Specialist for the Office of Atmospheric Programsat EPA Headquarters. She collaborates with and provides tools and resources for state and local governments to help them make the case for sustainability initiatives  such as green infrastructure, energy efficiency, and renewable energy. She led the development of EPA's  Avoided Emissions and Generation Tool (AVERT), and trains others to use it to estimate emission impacts of clean energy programs. Robyn holds a bachelor's degree in environmental science and a master's degree in energy and environmental analysis from Boston University.