A&M-Kingsville environmental engineering program receives $1.5 million TCEQ Grant
Texas A&M University-Kingsville’s Institute for Sustainable Energy and the Environment (ISEE) has received $1.5 million from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to help construct, promote and implement low impact development in the rapidly-growing Lower Rio Grande Valley. The grant is funded by the Clean Water Act Section 319 urban nonpoint source pollution prevention program.
The Lower Rio Grande Valley Low Impact Development (LID) Implementation and Education program will implement “green” best management practices for controlling stormwater runoff. ISEE—part of the Department of Environmental Engineering in the Frank H. Dotterweich College of Engineering at A&M-Kingsville—will work with the cities of Brownsville, Weslaco, Pharr and San Juan to advance safe LID, or development that emphasizes conservation and helps manage stormwater runoff. Other project partners include the University of Texas-Brownsville, the Valley Nature Center, and the Arroyo Colorado Watershed Partnership, which is managed by the Texas Water Resources Institute.
The $1.5 million grant will fund four types of low-impact stormwater control projects: green roofs, pervious pavements, rainwater harvesting and constructed wetlands. These best management practices will use an area’s natural features and native vegetation to manage stormwater and ensure that areas of development are protected.
A&M-Kingsville researchers will determine the water quality treatment potential of the four low-impact development features. The project will aim to reduce nitrogen, phosphorus, suspended solids and bacteria from the stormwater runoff at the project sites.
“The TCEQ grant is a great opportunity for A&M-Kingsville to connect with the communities in the lower Rio Grande Valley and help promote smart growth, especially in reducing runoff pollution,” said Dr. Stephan Nix, dean of the Frank H. Dotterweich College of Engineering. “I am particularly looking forward to the innovative approaches our students and faculty will develop as part of the grant.”
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