Poster: Using An "Impervious Permit" Allowance System To Reduce Impervious Surface Coverage for Environmental Sustainability
Bernadette Hanlon, Steve Sharkey and Thomas Vicino

Current development dynamics and population projections suggest that further decentralized urbanization is likely to proceed into the near future, resulting in the continuing degradation of the physical environment. It is therefore necessary to introduce governmental policies to reduce the negative environmental impacts of the built environment. This posteroutlines an innovative policy technique to address the problem of reducing the impact of impervious surface coverage on water quality, focusing on the State of Maryland. The challenge for policy is to encourage developers to limit impervious surface coverage by creating vegetated space, and reduce urban runoff by implementing innovative storm water management practices.
This poster describes a policy design that applies a permit allowance system to reduce impervious surface coverage (ISC). The policy outlined establishes a "cap" on impervious surfaces on a per lot basis in watersheds of specific size. Similar to the Acid Rain "cap and trade" program, this policy design allows developers to trade "impervious surface credits" and offers flexibility in how developers choose to reduce impervious surface coverage. This innovative design applies market-based approaches to reduce pollution, making pervious surface a valued good.
The overall goal of the outlined policy is to enhance the environmental, economic and social benefits of increased vegetated spaces and reduced urban runoff.
Bringing experts together in a university-sponsored symposium, we will allow scientists, practitioners and planners to critically evaluate our policy. We will gain feedback and critical evaluation from experts in the field.


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