NEW ORLEANS - At today's regular meeting, the Council approved Ordinance 32,933 authored by Councilmember Brossett and co-sponsored by all remaining six members to promote the use of permeable paving and green infrastructure. There has been a noticeable increase in the frequency and severity of heavy rainfall events and flooding throughout the City and everyone, including residents, business owners, and government have a part to play in combating flooding. While previous legislation has looked at what business owners can do, little has been done in terms of City restrictions.
The approval of this ordinance addresses this hesitancy by requiring the Department of Public Works to use permeable paving where practical. Permeable paving allows rainwater to flow through the pavement so that it can be absorbed by the ground underneath. In contrast, traditional paving prohibits rainwater absorption resulting in rainwater being pushed into the City's drainage system, which can be quickly overwhelmed. Permeable paving also lightens the burden on the City's drainage system during heavy rainfalls and curbs stormwater runoff.
This ordinance, which has received full support of local environmental advocates such as Water Wise Gulf South, ensures that as the City improves its infrastructure, and those improvements will significantly impact and increase New Orleans' resiliency through less flooding. This measure targets surfaces that are most adaptable to permeable paving like walkways, sidewalks, parking lanes and parking lots, but also allows DPW the flexibility necessary to determine when permeable paving is impractical and traditional paving is required, like for roadways.
"I am proud to author this legislation and am grateful for the support of my colleagues. Today, we set a clear standard that any investments that the City makes in infrastructure must also address resiliency," said Councilmember Brossett. "Working together, we can decrease our vulnerability to frequent flooding by incorporating stormwater management wherever possible, be that on a residential, commercial or governmental project. I have met with the Director of DPW regarding this ordinance. DPW has already used permeable pavements on projects in District 'D' on St. Bernard Ave., and expanding this to other areas of our city is apart of the resiliency we need."